UF Liberal Arts and Sciences dean heading to California

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

Paul D'anieri, the dean of UF's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has accepted a position as provost and vice chancellor of University of California Riverside.

He informed the university of his decision on Friday. His last day is June 19.

David E. Richardson, a chemistry professor who is also senior associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will assume the role as interim dean on June 20.

D'Anieri, a political science professor specializing in Ukraine studies, was hired as UF's Dean of CLAS in 2008. Before that, he was associate dean for Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas from 2004-2008, director of the Center for Russian and European Studies from 2003-04 and associate dean for International Programs from 1999-2003.

Paul Ortiz, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, said Wednesday that D'Anieri was a respected intellectual and academic scholar who continued to teach in the classroom even as an administrator.

“Too many universities have people in academic leadership posts who don't understand the academic mission,” Ortiz said. “A lot of academics give up teaching when they become deans, that is bad for college or university.”

D'Anieri came to Gainesville as the recession hit both Florida and the nation.

“He stepped in really at the beginning of the budget crisis,” said Ortiz, who came to UF around the same time as D'Anieri. “I know he was frustrated by that and we all were.”

During his six years as dean, D'Anieri had to deal with closing faculty lines as professors retired or moved on in order to absorb millions of dollars in budget cuts through 2012. During that time, the university gave out no raises. D'Anieri also closed the UF Paris Research Center.

“He became a master of the new Responsibility Center Management budgeting system that was instituted during his tenure, and his expertise in fiscal management and strategic planning served the college well,” said UF Provost Joe Glover.

D'Anieri partnered with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in creating a unified biology major that has become very popular with undergraduates, Glover said. Under D'Anieri, the CLAS has played a major role in UF's core course required of all students, “The Good Life.”

“Under his leadership, the college proposed and was granted numerous investments into new faculty hires in designated research areas,'' he said.

D'Anieri also was key to moving the Economics Department from the College of Business Administration, Glover said, a move that “opens a host of opportunities” for both the college and the department.

Richardson, who received his doctorate in chemistry from Stanford in 1981, was hired in 1983 as an assistant professor in UF's Chemistry Department. He was chair of the department from 2000 to 2006.

“Dave has a distinguished career as professor of chemistry and also in academic administration,” Glover said via email. “He is well-versed in the management of the college, and I expect that he will maintain smooth operations in the college until a permanent dean is selected.”

No timetable has been set for an external search, Glover said.

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