Laurence B. Alexander is an Associate Dean of the UF Graduate School, Director of the Office of Graduate Minority Programs, a Distinguished Teaching Scholar, and a Professor in the Department of Journalism. He has been a Provost Administrative Fellow in the UF Office of Academic Affairs. He also has served as Chair of the UF Department of Journalism 1994-98.
Alexander chairs the Graduate Curriculum Committee and directs 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 Annual Graduate Student Grants and Fellowships Conference. He leads the Graduate School’s program in recruitment, success and graduation of underrepresented minority students. In that role, he has generated more than $12 million as a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on federal grants from NSF and the Department of Education, and through other development efforts to support students. He is on the UF Leadership and Management Team of the NSF Innovation Through Institutional Integration Grant.
As Associate Dean, he has 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 has 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 has received significant 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 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.
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.