Department Enhancement Program



The Department Enhancement Program (DEP), originally referred to as Collaborative Transformation (CT), began in 2006 and concluded in 2022. Initially funded through the National Science Foundation, Department Enhancement Program is a part of ISU ADVANCE, which helps to transform university structures, cultures, and practices to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse, highly-qualified, and cohesive faculty. The Department Enhancement Program was an institutionalized part of Iowa State University. An innovative action-oriented program suited to improve departmental climates, Department Enhancement Program featured a systematic method for collecting and analyzing data from chairs and faculty about the department climate. Department Enhancement Program was useful as departmental leaders and faculty prepared for external program reviews, re-configured departmental structures in response to program development and implementation, developed a greater understanding of their strengths and opportunities for growth and support, and engaged in other long-range planning.

Department chairs could request Department Enhancement Program for their units. A trained Department Enhancement Program facilitator conducted 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 covered: 

  • 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


List of participating departments

Department Enhancement Program (DEP):


    • Sociology
    • Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management
    • Materials Science and Engineering


    • 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