Photograph from Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives
Doris Merritt, M.D.
Assistant Dean of Research, 1962-1978
Associate Dean, IU School of Medicine ,1988-1995
Dean, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, 1995-1997
Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, 1997-1998
During her more than 25-year tenure at IUPUI, Doris Merritt's influence extended campus-wide. She was a woman of many firsts, becoming the first female Assistant Dean at the IU School of Medicine in 1962, and later serving as the first female Dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.
Merritt and her husband joined the faculty of the IU School of Medicine in 1961. They had both previously held positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Merritt's first job at the university was Director of Medical Research Grants and Contracts, but within a year, she was promoted to Assistant Dean of Medical Research. In this role, Merritt obtained millions of dollars for the medical school's research and construction projects. In 1965, Merritt's job description expanded to encompass all of IU-Indianapolis. She retained this role when IUPUI formed in 1969, and ultimately served as Assistant Dean of Research until 1978, when both she and her husband returned to NIH.
In 1988, following her husband's death, Merritt returned to the IU School of Medicine as an Associate Dean. She quickly retained her reputation as an efficient administrator, willing to step into whatever role the university needed. That is how, in 1995, Merritt became the Dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, after the unexpected resignation of the school's former dean. Merritt served as dean for 2 years, before filling another unexpected vacancy as Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Merritt retired in 1998.
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