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Mason, Sally, 1950-



  • Existence: May 29,1950 -

Biographical Information

Sally Mason was born in New York City and graduated from high school in Union, New Jersey. Her career interest was in biology and related fields. She earned her BS in Zoology at the University of Kentucky (1972). She then want on to earn her MS in Developmental Biology from Purdue (1974), and her PhD in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Arizona (1978). After completing her PhD, she held a Postdoctoral research position at Indiana University. She joined the faculty at University of Kansas in 1980, and eventually served as the Associate Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (1990-1995) and the Acting Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (1995-1996). She left the University of Kansas to join the administration at Purdue University.

Mason was recruited by Purdue for the position of Provost which she held from 2001-2007. Mason was the first female Provost at the University. During her time as Provost, Mason was responsible for planning, managing, and overseeing all academic programs at Purdue's West Lafayette campus and its four affiliated branch campuses in Indiana. Mason also successfully led the strategic initiative to design and staff the programs in Discovery Park. She oversaw Purdue’s conversion to the OnePurdue and Banner database systems and supported the Engineering faculty initiative to shift to an interdisciplinary approach to their teaching and research. She brought diversity awareness to the Purdue faculty through ongoing workshops, which also included gender awareness training; these events became known as multicultural forums which gave rise to the Diversity Leadership Group, now a permanent advisory committee to the Provost. Dr. Mason also initiated the EPICS program for undergraduate research initiatives and the Women in Philanthropy group.

In 2007, Mason was offered the presidency of the University of Iowa, which she accepted. Throughout her career, Mason has published numerous scholarly articles and has received grants from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Wesley Research Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and the National Science Foundation. Mason also has been appointed to the National Medal of Science Committee for two terms (2006-2011) by the President of the United States.


MSO 1, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Purdue University Office of the Provost records

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: UA 197
Scope and Contents This collection contains material created or collected by the Purdue University Office of the Provost. It includes speeches, programs, and correspondence from events attended by the Provost.
Dates: 1997 - 2023; Majority of material found within 2003 - 2009