University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt announced Monday (Feb. 25) that he will nominate Dr. Laurence Alexander, associate dean of the Graduate School and director of the Office of Minority Programs at the University of Florida, to serve as the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Alexander was among the finalists in a nationwide search for a new chancellor conducted by Bobbitt and an advisory search committee of UAPB faculty, staff, alumni and supporters. Bobbitt will recommend Alexander for the position at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas that will be conducted by phone later this week.
Alexander, who is a distinguished teaching scholar and a professor in the Department of Journalism at Florida, chairs the Graduate Curriculum Committee and directs more than 20 student development and funding programs, including the UF McKnight Doctoral Fellowships and the National Science Foundation LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate.
He also leads the Graduate School’s program in recruitment, retention, success and graduation of underrepresented minority students. Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Journalism at the University of Florida and coordinator of journalism in the English Department at the University of New Orleans.
A native of New Orleans, Alexander received a bachelor’s degree in drama and communications from the University of New Orleans, master’s degree in journalism and communications from the University of Florida, Juris Doctor from Tulane University and Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University.
He and his wife, Veronica, also a native of New Orleans, have three sons, Brandon, David and Tyler. David and Tyler are college students and Brandon, a Santa Fe College academic adviser, and his wife, Vanessa, are the parents of Alexander’s grandchildren, Jonathan and Allie. Veronica Alexander currently serves as the director of human resources for the University of Florida Foundation.
Upon approval of the board of trustees, Alexander will succeed Dr. Calvin Johnson, who has served as interim chancellor of UAPB since April 2012. It is anticipated that Alexander will begin his tenure by July 1.