Bernie Machen, President
Dr. David R. Colburn, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, has informed me that he intends to step down from that position. He served as interim provost and vice president since 1999, was named provost in 2000 and became senior vice president in 2002. As the university’s chief academic officer, he helped lead the administration during significant changes in governance, economic downturns and shifts in admissions policies. He is also credited with helping to craft the university’s strategic plan. Further, he has been active in community outreach, having worked to help the university strengthen its relationship with the city and county.
Dr. Colburn’s interest in enhancing the educational experience for our students is evident through his commitment to international study, which he made a cornerstone of the undergraduate program. Under his leadership, UF made significant strides in the numbers of students competing and earning academic recognition in national and international scholarship programs. Just this month the USA Today named two University of Florida students among 20 selected nationwide to its top-tier All-USA College Academic Team. One of his most enduring accomplishments will be the development of partnerships with high schools around Florida in an effort to improve the overall quality of education and to provide underrepresented students an opportunity to enter and achieve at the University of Florida.
On a personal level, David has been extraordinarily helpful to me and has made the transition smooth and efficient. I will miss his counsel, but anticipate working with him in other ways after he returns to the faculty. UF is a much better place because of his service as provost and senior vice president.
He has told me that he wishes to return to the classroom, which is his first love. He has agreed to serve out this academic year and remain in the position until a search for his successor can be conducted. I know you join me in thanking him for his dedicated service as an administrator and in wishing him well in future endeavors.