The Gator Nation will lose a hard-working and dedicated administrator in May.
Bernard Mair, associate provost for Undergraduate Affairs and professor of mathematics, will leave UF to be dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
He said he was honored to be chosen, and he’s looking forward to working at a new school with a rich history.
Mair will start at Howard University on May 11.
Born in Jamaica, he earned degrees from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, and Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal.
He came to UF in 1989 and has held visiting professorships at Dartmouth College and Emory University.
He served as associate chair and graduate coordinator in the UF Department of Mathematics as well as the co-director of the UF Center for Applied Mathematics and the head of the North Carolina State University mathematics department.
He also served as associate dean in the UF College of Liberal Arts & Sciences from 2008 to 2009.
Mair has conducted research in areas ranging from abstract harmonic analysis to statistical inverse problems and image processing. Reflecting on his time at UF, he said he enjoyed handling his own research.
“I have gotten (an) incredible opportunity to work in research and administration all across the university,” he said.
Mair said he has learned a great deal by working and teaching at UF.
“It’s been the greatest experience I could have asked for,” he said.
UF faculty members shared mixed feelings of sadness and pride when they found out Mair was leaving Gainesville.
Donna Parker, the associate dean for diversity and health equity in the College of Medicine, said she has known Mair since 1992.
She said although she’s happy for him, she’s sad to see him leave.
“(He’s) very quiet but definitely a strong leader,” Parker said.
She said she thinks Mair will make a successful dean at Howard.
He’s approachable and greets everyone with a smile, she said.
Arlithia Mackey worked with Mair last year as a student assistant to the director of curriculum. She said he always smiled, and he always asked if she needed any help with work.
“He’s really caring,” she said.
Mair said leaving UF is bittersweet, but he’s excited for his next adventure at Howard University.
“There’s so much opportunity to help people, students and faculty,” he said.
[A version of this story ran on page 1 - 4 on 4/21/2015]