NSF’s Human Resources Directorate Renamed

The National Science Foundation says new names selected for the Education and Human Resources directorate and its Division of Human Resource Development emphasize the federal agency’s efforts to promote equity in STEM education.

By Paul Boyer

The Nation Science Foundation’s headquarters in Alexandria, VA. Photo: NSF

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) and its Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) have new names, ones that the agency says better communicate their mandate to support STEM education.

The former EHR is now the Directorate for STEM Education, or EDU. The Human Resources division was renamed the Division of Equity for Excellence in STEM, or EES. 

The newly named division houses the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP), along with programs serving Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Other programs, such as The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, work to increase enrollment and retention of students historically underrepresented in STEM.

This longstanding mission to support equity in STEM education prompted the search for a new name, said Division Director Diana Elder.

“Our conclusion to rename the division as the Division of Equity for Excellence in STEM was a natural outcome after examining the constellation of the division’s programs and recognizing the important contributions that you make each day,” she wrote in an email to project investigators and stakeholders. “The new namealso highlights a vision of the national STEM enterprise where the diversity of the STEM workforce better reflects the diversity of the nation.”

According to the NSF, the EDU houses “a major part of NSF’s education and STEM workforce portfolio,” by supporting “research that enables improvements in STEM teaching, learning, training, and assessment.”

“As the largest investor in STEM talent in the federal government, the new name for the directorate responsible for inspiring and unleashing talent across our nation should represent the work that NSF has been doing for decades and into the future,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “It is important to communicate the impact and potential to our taxpayers and the public so that they can understand and appreciate our work in these areas,”

The Division of Human Resource Development, one of eight within the NSF, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021. Other directorates include Biological Sciences; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Engineering; Geosciences; Mathematical and Physical Sciences; and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. The newest directorate, established earlier this year, focuses on Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

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Paul Boyer is editor of Native Science Report

Story published November 9, 2022

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