Sally K. Mason

BA ’72, Zoology, University of Kentucky
MS ’74, Developmental Biology, Purdue University
PhD ’78, Cellular, Molecular & Developmental Biology, University of Arizona

"While at Purdue, I loved teaching and interacting with students in my early morning, undergraduate biology lab sections. I came to know many talented Purdue athletes who came to the early morning sessions and who were serious about getting an education."

Sally K. Mason, the first female provost at Purdue University and current president at the University of Iowa, has a career in higher education that spans 40 years. She began at the University of Kansas in 1981, where she received several awards for outstanding undergraduate advising and teaching, eventually becoming dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Throughout her career, she has received several grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Wesley Research Foundation, and the Lilly Endowment. In addition, she has served as chair of the advisory committee to the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education and Human Resources, and as a member of the executive committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

She also was appointed by then-President George W. Bush to the National Medal of Science Selection Committee for two terms from 2006-2011.


  • 2007-Present: President of the University of Iowa
  • 2006-2008; 2009-2011: Appointed by the President of the United States to the National Medal of Science Selection Committee
  • 2001: Became first woman Provost at Purdue University
  • 1988-1999: Won teaching and advising awards from students

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