Rhetaugh G. Dumas, Ph.D., Lucille Cole Professor of Nursing, professor of nursing, dean emerita in the School of Nursing, and vice provost emerita, retired from active faculty status on December, 2001, after 20 years of service to the University of Michigan. Professor Dumas obtained her B.S.N. degree from the Division of Nursing at Dillard University in 1951, her M.S. degree from Yale University in 1961, and her Ph.D. degree from Union Graduate School (Antioch College Campus) in 1975. From 1957-61, she was an instructor at Dillard University. In 1962 she joined the faculty of Yale University, where she rose through the ranks to associate professor and chair of psychiatric nursing in the School of Nursing. From 1972-81, she held several leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville, Maryland. She joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1981 as professor of nursing and dean of the School of Nursing. She remained dean until 1994, when she was named vice provost for health affairs and the Lucille Cole Professor of Nursing.
As dean of the School of Nursing, Professor Dumas was an ardent advocate of excellence in nursing research and scholarship as a means of advancing the discipline of nursing. She provided a powerful vision of nursing and demonstrated considerable personal and professional influence in many spheres. A renowned national and international scholar in the area of psychiatric nursing, Professor Dumas has conducted extensive externally-funded research on clinical experiences in nursing practice and has authored many journal articles and book chapters. She has served on a number of national boards and committees, and for the past several years has served on the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Professor Dumas has received honorary doctoral degrees from Yale University, Simmons College, the University of Cincinnati, Dillard University, and the University of San Diego.
She was the first woman, to serve as deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and she was the first African American woman to serve as dean at the University of Michigan. She was one of 36 distinguished nurses who were Charter Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing when it was established in 1973, and she served as the academy's president from 1987-89.
Regents Proceedings, April, 2002, p. 202