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Senate confirms UW-Madison emeritus professor as deputy director of NSF

June 6, 2011 By Chris Barncard

Cora Marrett, an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26 to serve as deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Marrett, who has a long history as a top administrator with the science agency, had been serving as acting director of NSF since June 1, 2010. NSF is a primary funder of basic scientific research in the United States and in fiscal year 2009 had a budget of nearly $6.5 billion.

“Dr. Marrett is a familiar leader at the agency, and her continued commitment to NSF’s mission makes her well-suited for this role,” NSF director Subra Suresh said in a statement. “The agency will truly benefit from her years of experience at both the federal and university levels.”

Marrett earned masters and doctorate degrees from UW–Madison in sociology, and was a member of the UW–Madison sociology and Afro-American Studies faculty from 1974-96. From 1996-2000, she served as senior vice chancellor and provost at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. In 2001, she was appointed as the UW System’s chief academic officer.