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Valerie Ashby re-appointed to second term as Trinity dean

Valerie Ashby, dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, has been reappointed for another five-year term.

Her second five-year term will extend through June 30, 2025, according to a Duke Today press release. A review committee, headed by Georg Vanberg—chair of the department of political science—recommended Ashby for a second term.

“At this exciting moment in our university’s history, we are thrilled that Valerie and her team will continue to lead the way for Trinity,” President Vincent Price said in a news release. “I am so looking forward to working alongside her on the many opportunities that lie ahead.”

Ashby came to Duke in 2015 after 12 years at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, from 2012 to 2015, she chaired the department of chemistry, as well as the university's Institutional Conflict of Interest Committee and the UNC College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Diversity Task Force. She also completed her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees at UNC.

Ashby’s scientific background is extensive. She has nearly 50 publications and holds eight patents, and she previously directed the UNC National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented doctoral students continuing to become professors in STEM and SBE fields.

Outside of her administrative roles, Ashby is a synthetic polymer chemist, focusing on the design and synthesis of materials for biomedical applications. For her work, she has been awarded the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award, the DuPont Young Faculty and 3M Young Faculty Awards.

“Her approach to improving the introductory courses in the disciplines, expanding the role of the sciences, and her commitment to diversity and inclusion and increasing the enrollment of the under-served and under-represented in STEM fields is transformative,” Provost Sally Kornbluth said in the news release.