Department Enhancement Program



The Department Enhancement Program (DEP), originally referred to as Collaborative Transformation (CT), began in 2006. Initially funded through the National Science Foundation, DEP is a part of ADVANCE, which helps to transform university structures, cultures, and practices to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse, highly-qualified, and cohesive faculty. DEP is now an institutionalized part of Iowa State University. An innovative action-oriented program suited to improve departmental climates, DEP features a systematic method for collecting and analyzing data from chairs and faculty about the department climate. DEP is useful as departmental leaders and faculty prepare for external program reviews, re-configure departmental structures in response to program development and implementation, develop a greater understanding of their strengths and opportunities for growth and support, and other long-range planning.

Department chairs can request DEP for their units. A trained DEP facilitator conducts separate, confidential 90-minute interviews or focus groups with: 

  • Department chairs 
  • Faculty by rank across term, tenure-track and tenure classifications

In exploring the department’s structures, processes, and climate, interviews cover: 

  • recruitment and retention of diverse faculty
  • responsibilities in research, teaching, extension, outreach, and service
  • advancement and evaluation
  • mentoring and leadership development
  • resource distribution
  • faculty relations, collegiality, and networking
  • faculty satisfaction
  • career flexibility
  • work-life integration
  • programming and future initiatives
  • facilities, administrative support, and technical support
  • governance and policies


Promotional Materials:


Key achievements 

  • More than 30 departments have participated in DEP since 2006
  • 76.9% of action items were implemented


DEP Facilitators


List of Participating Departments

Department Enhancement Program (DEP):


    • Sociology
    • Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management


    • Food Science and Human Nutrition
    • English
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
    • Animal Science


    • Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
    • Economics
    • Marketing
    • Agronomy


    • University Library
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Horticulture
    • Geological and Atmospheric Sciences


    • Computer Science
    • Human Development and Family Studies
    • Supply Chain Management and Information Systems
    • Statistics


    • Political Science
    • Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
    • Music and Theatre


    • Mathematics
    • Natural Resource Ecology and Management


    • History
    • Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management
    Collaborative Transformation (CT):


    • Chemical and Biological Engineering
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Plant Pathology and Microbiology


    • Animal Science
    • Chemistry
    • Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


    • Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
    • Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology
    • Materials Science and Engineering