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Saturday, December 09, 2023

Over the past year, UF has found itself in a period of transition, including a new president appointed in February, the search for a new provost beginning in the Spring, a new UF Honors Program director to be announced within the next month and searches for a new dean of the Levin College of Law and Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

As UF finds itself at the center of controversies and discussions on what education in the state should look like, how the university decides to fill these positions will indicate the direction of Florida’s flagship university for years to come.


Provost Joe Glover announced Jan. 27 he’d step down after nearly 15 years in the position. He’ll remain at the university as a senior adviser to UF President Ben Sasse.

The provost search committee is collecting faculty and student opinions on goals and priorities for the position. Community members who attended the April 18 and April 21 online meetings mentioned academic freedom, support for students and UF-to-Gainesville connection as top priorities for the incoming provost.

Once it has gathered information, the search committee will look for candidates and conduct interviews. The new provost should be named by late summer, a search committee member said in the meeting April 21.

UF Faculty Senators approved the Provost Qualities Resolution at the April 20 senate meeting. In the resolution, faculty senators agreed on eight traits the next provost should have, including administrative experience at a university. The resolution also ensures candidates will be committed to academic freedom, which allows faculty to express academic and professional views.

“UF has a responsibility to recruit and retain a top-notch Provost candidate with a strong academic background,” the resolution writes.

Dean of the Levin College of Law

Laura Rosenbury is leaving her role as the dean at UF’s Levin College of Law to become Barnard College’s ninth president in July. She served as dean for eight years. As dean, she is responsible for the advancement of her college, including in education, financial and administrative matters. 

Provost Joe Glover said he is in talks with UF President Ben Sasse on finding an interim dean at a Faculty Senate meeting April 20. 

Rosenbury was chosen in 2015 after a nationwide search by a committee of students, faculty and administrators. The committee chose 10 candidates to interview for the position of dean. After shrinking the candidate pool, four finalists then met with the UF president, provost and law school faculty, as well as attended law school student forums. Rosenbury was then named the dean. 

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Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering 

Forrest Masters was appointed interim dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering in January. He was appointed after the search committee tasked with finding a permanent dean couldn’t reach an agreement about the outcome of the search and decided to pause it in order to discuss the matter further with then-incoming UF President Ben Sasse. 

Masters previously served as the assistant vice president for strategic initiatives at UF Research and is a professor of civil and coastal engineering. As interim dean, Masters is responsible for the advancement of his department, including in education, financial and administrative matters. 

A search team will create a candidate pool in May, but it will not engage with the candidates until September, Provost Joe Glover said at a Faculty Senate meeting April 20. 

Chief financial officer

Chris Cowen will leave his position as chief financial officer July 1. He spent three years overseeing campus finances and serving on the Board of Directors at UF Health. He’s moving onto a similar role at Cornell University. 

Cowen has 30 years of experience in investment banking, including at Bank of America and Goldman, Sachs and Co. As CFO, he planned for UF’s portfolio of operations and developed long-term and short-term fiscal strategies

It’s unclear when or how the search for a new CFO will begin. Cowen hopes his successor will get involved on campus.

“We're all here because we want to improve the University of Florida and do the right thing,” Cowen said in an interview. “That's what we all want to achieve.”

Senior director of academic advising

UF is searching for a senior academic advisor who will serve as the primary point of contact for all undergraduate professional advising at the university, according to the job listing

It’s a position under the recently created UF Student Success department, a unit within the Office of Undergraduate Affairs. The role will include responsibilities such as being a member of the Advisory Council for Undergraduate Affairs, overseeing UF websites relating to academic advising and maintaining easy access to degree audits and the undergraduate catalog. 

An offer has been made to one of the finalists for this position. UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan didn’t clarify who received the offer or for how much. 

The current finalists are Nigel Richardson, the current UF assistant director of New Student Transitions; Andrea Evangelist, Santa Fe College director of college-wide advising and career exploration; Sara Ellison, assistant dean of advising for the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky and David Dearden, assistant dean of advising and undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. 

The anticipated start date for this role will be May 1.

A search committee headed by Lynn O’Sickey, associate director of the Academic Advising Center, last met March 19 to review applicants.

Beyond120 director

UF is looking to hire a new director of Beyond120, a career readiness program that offers modules for students to take through Canvas. 

The director will be responsible for setting and meeting goals for the program, overseeing five full-time faculty members and developing and teaching courses, according to the job listing. 

Ryan Braun has served as director of the program for more than three years and is now moving out of the area. A search committee headed by Glen Kepic, associate director of the academic advising center, is reviewing the applicants as information is received. 

Ella Thompson contributed to this report. 

Contact Allessandra at, Alissa at and Sophia at Follow them on Twitter @ainzinna, @alissagary1 and @sophia_bailly.

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Allessandra Inzinna

Allessandra is a third-year journalism major with a minor in English. In the past, she has covered local musicians and the cannabis industry. She is now the Student Government reporter for The Alligator. Allessandra paints and plays guitar in her free time. 

Alissa Gary

Alissa Gary is a second-year journalism major who's covering K-12 education for The Alligator. She has previously reported on student government and university administration.  Aside from writing, she likes to take care of her plants and play (and usually win) the New York Times sudoku puzzle.

Sophia Bailly

Sophia Bailly is a second-year journalism major and covers politics for the enterprise desk. Some of her favorite things include The Beatles, croissants and Agatha Christie books. When she's not writing stories she's either reading or going for a run.

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