Abbas Benmamoun Reappointed as Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement

As vice provost for faculty advancement, Abbas Benmamoun has built numerous partnerships across the campus that supports faculty excellence.
As vice provost for faculty advancement, Abbas Benmamoun has built numerous partnerships across campus to support faculty excellence.

Abbas Benmamoun, who has served as Duke University’s vice provost for faculty advancement since 2017, has been reappointed to a second term beginning July 1, 2022, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced today.

Benmamoun leads the Office for Faculty Advancement, which was created in 2017 to support faculty excellence and promote an equitable and inclusive academic environment.

“Abbas has built an outstanding team that is changing Duke for the better through its work to promote inclusive excellence in faculty hiring, support career development for faculty and academic leaders, and foster an equitable academic culture at Duke,” Kornbluth said. “He is a trusted partner and adviser to colleagues university-wide, and has overseen the development of a robust offering of programs and resources for the Duke community.”

The reappointment follows the recommendation of a review committee chaired by Trina Jones, Jerome M. Culp Distinguished Professor of Law.

“I am grateful to Trina Jones and the members of the review committee for their service, and extend my thanks to all of the members of the Duke community who contributed input during the review process,” Kornbluth said.

Under Benmamoun’s leadership, the Office for Faculty Advancement has built key partnerships with the offices of institutional equity, learning innovation, student affairs and institutional research as well as Duke’s schools, departments and other academic programs.

Benmamoun and his colleagues have partnered with Duke’s academic units to implement effective and equitable practices at all stages of the faculty hiring process. The Office for Faculty Advancement administers the Strategic Hiring for Faculty Excellence program, which has supported a 30 percent increase in the number of Black faculty at the university over the last four years. Benmamoun also led a comprehensive review that resulted in changes to the faculty parental leave policy, enabling partners who work at Duke to both qualify for parental leave.

The office helped develop and implement the first university-wide survey on diversity, equity and inclusion, launched a seed grant program for faculty-led initiatives to support faculty and build strong academic communities, developed a suite of faculty and leadership development programs, and offered in-depth curricula led by Associate Vice Provost Sherilynn Black on dismantling racism at Duke and improving departmental climate.

Benmamoun has led the Office for Faculty Advancement in organizing university-wide responses to support and educate the Duke community in response to national events. Following the killing of George Floyd, the office presented a day-long symposium, Living While Black, attended by 6,300 members of the Duke community. In response to anti-Asian violence in the Atlanta area, the office hosted a faculty panel discussion attended by 670 faculty, students and staff. The office also created numerous resources and workshops for faculty in response to COVID.

Nationally, the Office for Faculty Advancement is active in the Ivy+ Faculty Advancement Network, the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Leaders Network and the National Academies’ Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.

Benmamoun is also a professor of Asian and Middle Eastern studies and linguistics. At Duke he has taught courses on linguistics, and served as a co-organizer of the Heritage Language Research Institute.

Prior to Duke, Benmamoun was vice provost for faculty affairs and academic policies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also served on the faculty. His research focuses on the comparative syntax and morphology of natural language and heritage languages, particularly on issues of language maintenance and loss within immigrant communities. His books include “The Feature Structure of Functional Categories: A Comparative Study of Arabic Dialects,” “Arabic Syntax” and “The Routledge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics.”

Benmamoun earned a bachelor of arts degree from the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, a master’s degree from University College London and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.