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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

UF announced Friday morning that Joe Glover, the university provost since 2008, will step down from his position at the end of July.

Ben Sasse, UF president-elect, will begin a national search for the next provost as he transitions into office in the coming weeks, according to a Friday press release. Glover will serve as a senior adviser to Sasse after he relinquishes his position. 

As provost, Glover served as the university's chief academic officer, developing university policy, managing budgets and making decisions on faculty tenure. The average tenure of provost positions is four years, according to the UF press release. Glover served through three UF presidents and four U.S. presidents during his 15-year tenure.

“I look forward to working with my fourth president, Ben Sasse, in service to the university as he formulates a vision for UF for the next decade,” Glover wrote in an email.

Glover feels privileged to have been able to work closely with three UF presidents in his time in the office of provost, he said. 

UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan declined to share more information on Glover’s transition and the upcoming search for a provost. But Roldan clarified that Glover’s departure from the role was his own decision, not Sasse’s.

Glover arrived at UF in 1983 as an assistant professor in mathematics. Since then, he has served as chair of the mathematics department, associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, associate provost for academic affairs and as interim provost for nine months.

 During Glover’s tenure as provost, UF has surged in both national prestige and attention — for better or worse.

 While he presided over the university’s academics, UF was named the No. 5 public university in the country in 2022 by the U.S. News & World Report. In the same year, UF’s online baccalaureate program was also ranked No.1.

Glover also presided over UF academics while the university dealt with controversies over academic freedom and interference from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Following the 2021 controversy over the ability of UF professors to testify against the state in court, Glover and University President Kent Fuchs created a task force to look at the conflict of interest policy for consistency and fidelity. The task force, with recommendations, changed the policy so that the provost has the final decision on all denied requests.

Alan Levine, a member of the State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors, has worked with Glover since 2011, when Levine served on the UF Board of Trustees. Since 2013, when Levine transitioned to the Florida Board of Governors, he has relied on Glover for advice and questions, he said.

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“It’s very smart of the president [Sasse] to lean on Joe’s institutional knowledge, even as he chooses a new provost,” Levine said. “Looks like the president is doing exactly the right thing.”

Levine also noted Glover’s sense of humor helped bridge the gap between faculty and the government.

“A lot of people don’t know, Joe Glover can put those dance shoes on, and he can shake up the dance floor,” Levine said. “I’ve watched him.”

 Off the dance floor, Glover’s notable achievements include the creation of the Innovation Academy in 2013, the PaCE admissions program in 2015 and his involvement in creating the new Global Technology and Innovation Center in West Palm Beach. The $100 million center will have 1,000 graduate students studying full-time and over 100 academic staff members when it opens.

Glover emphasized his effort to bring UF to the forefront of AI research and technology. Some of his initiatives include introducing the HiPerGator 3.0 supercomputer in 2021, a $70 million partnership with NVIDIA, an AI software corporation, and the commitment to hire 100 faculty members in AI. 

Glover was also a part of the UF Health moonshot proposal, which aims to solve some of the world’s largest problems. The $17 million initiative is attempting to extend life expectancies, cure untreatable diseases and pioneer precision health.

Bruce Floyd, associate director of social media and digital analytics, worked in the office of the provost from 2004 to 2007, where he worked closely with Glover, who was associate provost for academic affairs at the time.

Floyd supports Sasse’s decision to keep Glover at the university, he said. 

“For me, it was always a comfort to know he was there and was running things,” Floyd said. 

UF credits much of its prestige to Glover’s presence on campus, and he’ll continue to be a largely influential figure at the university he’s been a part of since 1983.

Alissa Gary contributed to this story.

Contact Ella at ethompson@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter at @elladeethompson

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Ella Thompson

Ella Thompson is a third-year journalism major who's on general assignment for The Alligator's metro desk. In her free time, she likes to read, cook and think of feature stories for The Alligator.


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