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Distinguished University of Maryland Chemist/Chemical Engineer Appointed as Mills College Provost

Oakland, CA–May 20, 2008. Mills College is proud to announce the appointment of distinguished University of Maryland chemistry and chemical engineering professor Dr. Sandra C. Greer as Mills provost and dean of the faculty, effective July 1, 2008.

Mills College President Janet L. Holmgren describes Greer as "a renowned researcher and teacher, who will enhance immeasurably Mills' reputation in the field of science; a tireless advocate for the advancement and leadership of women in education and the professions; a devoted mother, partner, and community activist who cares deeply about the environment, issues of social justice and change, and diversity."

Mills Provost Sandra GreerGreer comes from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is the rare academic with appointments in two separate colleges. She was the first woman hired on the regular research track in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry when she joined the Maryland faculty in 1978. Since 1983, she has been professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Chemical and Life Sciences, and since 1995 a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Greer has held many administrative positions at the University of Maryland, including associate chair for graduate studies, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and associate chair for administration of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

"I am delighted to be joining the Mills College community. I have long admired the commitment of Mills to women's education, to liberal arts education, and to women's leadership," said Greer. "I am further impressed by the high level of scholarly and creative activity, and by the strong energy of civic engagement."

Greer has published extensively on research in experimental thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of fluids and fluid mixtures, living polymers, biopolymers, and polymer solutions. She belongs to many professional societies including the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Association for Women in Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Washington Academy of Sciences.

Greer's awards include the 2004 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal awarded by the American Chemical Society to women chemists to recognize their distinguished service to chemistry, and she was elected as a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994 and the American Physical Society in 1987. Greer also received the Washington Academy of Sciences Achievement Award in 1978.

Greer has a master's degree in science (1968) and a PhD in chemical physics (1969) from the University of Chicago. She was program director for structural chemistry and thermodynamics at the National Science Foundation from 1985 to 1986.

Greer has a long history with Mills College and visited the campus many times. She served as convener of the first national Women in Science Summit hosted by Mills College in 1994 in which 52 of the country's leading female scientists came to conceive of ways for women to break through the scientific "glass ceiling." At the dedication of the Betty Irene Moore Natural Sciences building in October 2007, Greer noted that federal research grants to women are still far smaller than those given to men.

"Her commitment to the education of women in the sciences is longstanding and has helped to raise awareness about the underrepresentation of women in the sciences," said Holmgren. In 1988, Greer led the release of a study of undergraduate women's education at the University of Maryland, known as Making a Difference for Women, the Greer Report, which identified new ways to increase the number of both women and persons of color in the sciences and in higher education.

"I look forward to working with the Mills community to envision a college of the future, one with an evolving curriculum, challenging intellectual environment, strategic graduate programs, and an increasing regional and national visibility," Greer said.

Greer was selected as provost at Mills College following a rigorous national search conducted by a private firm.

"I am deeply impressed with Dr. Greer's support for the Mills' mission of providing outstanding education for leadership to women and of fostering the highest standards of academic excellence at the College. Her focus on the teaching of ethics in science has been a timely and important contribution to the curriculum," said Holmgren. "Mills College is most fortunate to be able to attract such an outstanding leader in higher education and the sciences to our highest academic post. Dr. Greer's interest in Mills reflects our academic strength and potential in the 21st century."

Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 900 undergraduate women and 500 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College ranks as one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report and one of the Best 366 Colleges by the Princeton Review. For more information, visit www.mills.edu.


Quynh Tran
Media Relations Manager

Last Updated: 5/20/08