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From the Dean

What an extraordinary year this has been for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences! As most of you have heard by now, the University of Florida achieved a ranking among the U.S. News and World Report Top 10 public comprehensive universities for the first time in our history.

To maintain the momentum, the Board of Trustees and President Fuchs have committed to hiring 500 new faculty in the next few years. The college has been fortunate to be able to create more than 60 new faculty positions for the 2018–19 academic year alone, in addition to positions to replace faculty lost to retirement. The candidates who have accepted our offers are exceedingly talented and diverse in background and experience. They will be instrumental in helping us create a nationally acclaimed student experience and forefront scholarship that will ensure that UF remains among the top public research universities in the country.

In March, the university received more good news: UF is one of only five institutions to receive the 2018 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, in recognition of our broad commitment to faculty excellence, research, and creating international opportunities for our students. Over 150 countries are represented in the UF community, including over 6,500 international students. The teaching and research in Liberal Arts and Sciences is truly global in scope, examining issues in nature, society, and humanity around the world.

Surveys have shown that more than 80 percent of our incoming students want to have an international experience while they are at UF. Unfortunately, most students will graduate without having gone abroad. Our goal in the years ahead is to expand our study-abroad and semester-exchange programs to meet the demand for cost-effective and meaningful time abroad for our students. Our alumni have been enthusiastic about assisting us in the effort to make these transformative experiences available to all students.

This issue’s cover story on the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research is a perfect example of the opportunities that we provide for our students to perform purposeful work here and around the world. I hope that you will find it as inspiring as I did. (More good news at press time: Jack Davis, featured here, received a Pulitzer!)

Go Gators and Go Greater,

David E. Richardson
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences