UF associate dean nominated to lead University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.

After 22 years at the University of Florida, a UF associate dean has been nominated to serve as the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Laurence Alexander, associate dean of the UF Graduate School and director of the Office of Graduate Minority Programs, began his career at UF, also his alma mater, as an associate professor in 1991. He rose through the ranks and has since served different roles within the university.

He was named the 12th UF Distinguished Alumni Professor, has been published in numerous prestigious publications and has raised more than $14 million in grants for the university, among other recognitions and accomplishments. He served as the chair of the department of journalism at UF and coordinator of journalism in the English department at the University of New Orleans. He is a New Orleans native and began his education there at the University of New Orleans, where he completed his bachelor's degree in drama and communications.

Alexander said he feels his biggest contribution during the time he spent at UF was centered around impacting students and working with minority groups. He still teaches law of mass communication in the college of journalism and communications, and he said he values interaction with students as he continues to encourage student involvement.

Alexander, who received his master's degree from UF, would assume the position July 1 if the University of Arkansas approves his appointment. As chancellor, his work would be centered around administrative duties and overseeing the operations of the entire campus.

In addition to missing his colleagues, students and Gator sports, Alexander said that if appointed, he will certainly miss 70-degree weather in February.

"I really, really enjoyed my time here," he said. "For a time, it was hard for me to imagine ever leaving Gainesville."

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