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UMR names first tenured professor

Molly Dingel

The University of Minnesota Rochester named its first tenured faculty member this week.

Molly Dingel, part of the first cohort of faculty at UMR, helped construct the school's bachelor of science in health sciences curriculum and establish faculty governance. Her tenure was approved during the May 12 Board of Regents meeting, and she was promoted to associate professor.

"Dr. Dingel's tenure and promotion to associate professor is an individual accomplishment that occurs once in a lifetime," said Dr. Lori Carrell, vice chancellor for academic affairs and student development.

Dingel holds a doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Kansas and is a "passionate teacher, a dedicated researcher and a leader to her faculty colleagues," according to a news release from UMR.

"I'm extremely gratified to be recognized in this way by the University. I'm very proud to be part of such a great system, and I'm also very proud of what we at UMR have been able to build," she said.


Tenure-track faculty are eligible to receive tenure in their eighth year at UMR. Tenured faculty hold responsibilities in three areas: teaching, research and service, according to the news release. Faculty members build a portfolio, or tenure dossier, of their time at the university to be reviewed by committees and individuals, the University of Minnesota Provost and Board of Regents.

Tenure at UMR is unique, said Carrell, because it's related to research on student learning first and disciplinary research second.

"Her research is making unique contributions to the literature; her teaching and course construction have been vital to the quality of students' education at UMR; and her extraordinary service has been pivotal to establishing faculty governance at UMR," Carrell said. "Her achievement of tenure is also a validation for the UMR community's unique model, emanating from our commitment to learning innovation research."

Dingel's research focuses on students' group work. Her discipline-specific research focuses on the sociological and bioethical questions of addiction genomics and genetics research.

"I'm looking forward to continuing to develop what we have started at UMR, because the people I work with are so amazing," she said. "I hope I can be a strong advocate for the faculty as we continue our journey."

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