Dr. Laurence B. Alexander
Dr. Laurence B. Alexander is the 19th administrative head of the institution since its founding in 1873 and the ninth Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Prior to coming to UAPB, Alexander served as the Associate Dean of the University of Florida (UF) Graduate School, Director of the Office of Graduate Minority Programs, a Distinguished Teaching Scholar, and a Professor in the Department of Journalism. Alexander has held several administrative positions throughout his career. Chair of the UF Department of Journalism and Provost Administrative Fellow in the UF Office of Academic Affairs. He was a Fellow in the 2012-2013 Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium’s Academic Leadership Development Program (SECAC/ALDP). 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 UF, Juris Doctor from Tulane University, and Ph.D. in Higher Education from Florida State University.
At UF, Alexander chaired the Graduate Curriculum Committee and directed more than 20 student development and funding programs at UF, including the UF McKnight Doctoral Fellowships, the National Science Foundation LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate, the Florida A&M University Graduate Fellowship Feeder Program, and the Annual Graduate Student Grants and Fellowships Conference. He led the Graduate School’s program in recruitment, retention, success and graduation of underrepresented minority students. In that role, he has generated more than $10 million as a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on federal grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, and through other development efforts to support students. As a Co-Principal Investigator for the NSF Innovation Through Institutional Integration Program, Alexander served on the Leadership and Management Team of the UF I-Cubed Program.
He also led initiatives sponsoring research for undergraduate students and preparing them for graduate studies. These initiatives included the McNair Scholars Program, the Undergraduate Scholars Program for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, and a partnership with the UF Howard Hughes Medical Institute to create the Summer Research for Rising Seniors Program, which assisted rising seniors in various areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a Department Chair, he led the unit to top finishes in the William Randolph Hearst Competitions, promoted student development and experiential learning, enhanced faculty teaching and research performance through professional development activities, and improved the magazine journalism concentration.
As a Professor, Alexander taught more than 10,000 students. He has received significant awards, honors and recognition for his research and undergraduate teaching. He was named the 12th UF Distinguished Alumni Professor, a UF Distinguished Teaching Scholar and member of the UF Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, a UF Research Foundation Professor, and he received the Florida Blue Key Distinguished Faculty Award. Moreover, his national honors and awards include the Florida Education Fund President's Award, the Freedom Forum Teacher of the Year Award and the Baskett Mosse Award, given by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and the accrediting council to a mid-career faculty member who is outstanding in teaching, research and service. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in communications law.
Dr. Alexander served three terms on the UF Faculty Senate and a term as faculty representative on the Boards of Directors of the University Athletic Association and the UF National Alumni Association. He served as a member of the AEJMC Executive Board, as chair of the AEJMC Standing Committee on Professional Freedom and Responsibility, and as chair of the Board of Directors of The Independent Florida Alligator. He served as a member of the AEJMC Publications Committee, the Nominations and Elections Committee, the Finance Committee and chaired the AEJMC Development Task Force. In addition to the AEJMC, he is a member of the International Communication Association, Modern Language Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Education Law Association, American Bar Association, Florida Bar Media and Communications Law Committee, Louisiana State Bar Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Before joining UF, he served on the faculty of Temple University and the University of New Orleans. He also has worked in the journalism profession for The Houma Courier, The Times-Picayune and The Philadelphia Inquirer.