Former provost candidate named UAPB chancellor
A Florida administrator and former UALR provost candidate was appointed Feb. 28 by the University of Arkansas System as next chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Laurence Alexander, 53, who currently serves as a professor and administrator at the University of Florida in Gainesville, was approved for the position in Pine Bluff by the UA board of trustees late last month after being nominated by UA System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt just days earlier.
Alexander is scheduled to assume the position July 1, according to a UA System release. He will succeed interim UAPB Chancellor Dr. Calvin Johnson, who has filled the position since the retirement of the historically African-American school’s 21-year Chancellor Lawrence Davis Jr. in May 2011. He has worked as UFL’s associate graduate school dean since 2006, and also serves as director of the college’s Office of Graduate Minority Programs and a professor of journalism.
After a nearly two-year national search for candidates, Alexander was recommended for the position by Bobbitt during a special phone conference of the UA System Board of Trustees, according to the release.
“I’m pleased to nominate Dr. Laurence Alexander, who I believe has the right combination of experience and enthusiasm to help shape a positive, successful future for UAPB,” Bobbitt said in the release. “Dr. Alexander understands the important role that UAPB plays in the higher education portfolio of our state and in the Pine Bluff community. It’s a university that has grown and developed throughout the past two decades, and I am excited about the leadership Dr. Alexander will provide to help the campus and its students, faculty and staff achieve at the highest levels. While we know there will be challenges ahead, I look forward to working with Dr. Alexander to ensure a successful future for UAPB.”
Alexander graduated with his bachelor’s degree in drama and communications from the University of New Orleans, his hometown, received his juris doctor from Tulane University, also in New Orleans, and his Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University.
“I bring a lot to the table,” Alexander told The Forum in January. “I bring a wealth of experience in higher ed and higher education administration; I bring experience at the graduate level; lots of experience with students and student affairs … externship programs … partnerships … and the alumni board….”