University of La Verne Appoints New College of Arts and Sciences Dean

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The University of La Verne appointed Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr. to the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a move that becomes effective Aug. 10.

The University of La Verne appointed Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr. to the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a move that becomes effective Aug. 10.

Dr. Potter is an academic visionary whose ideas related to diversity and student success go the heart of the University of La Verne’s core values

The University of La Verne appointed Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr. to the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a move that becomes effective Aug. 10.

Dr. Potter brings nearly 20 years’ experience as an educator to La Verne, having served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles at private and public institutions throughout his career.

“Dr. Potter’s wealth of knowledge both as a scholar and leader will be an asset to the University of La Verne,” said President Devorah Lieberman. “His entrepreneurial approach and collaborative style will enhance the educational experiences of our students as he supports faculty and staff. We look forward to his furthering the La Verne Experience, collaborating across the colleges and the Regional and Online Campuses, and implementing our 2020 Strategic Vision.”

Provost Jonathan Reed noted that Dr. Potter was the right choice to lead the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Along with an impressive set of skills and credentials, the search committee recognized that Dr. Potter would be an excellent fit for the University given his commitment to serving first-generation students from diverse populations, along with his unwavering support for faculty development, consensus building, transparency and fairness,” said Provost Jonathan Reed.

He most recently held the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, one of five academic colleges, at Jackson State University in Mississippi, where he served as chief academic, budget, and administrative officer. He previously served as associate dean and chief diversity officer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and rose through the faculty ranks as a scholar of English and African-American literature at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and Western Michigan University.

College of Law Dean Gilbert Holmes, who co-chaired the search committee, said Dr. Potter’s curricular and co-curricular ideas will be invaluable to the University.

“Dr. Potter is an academic visionary whose ideas related to diversity and student success go the heart of the University of La Verne’s core values,” Holmes said. “We are fortunate to be bringing on board such a seasoned professional whose ideals mesh with ours.”

Dr. Potter directed the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and was named an American Council on Education Fellow for 2009-2010. He graduated magna cum laude with a triple major in English, philosophy, and religion from Stillman College and earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dr. Potter said he was humbled and honored to be joining the University of La Verne as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“La Verne is a hidden gem—it has an exceptional faculty, students who are engaged and curious, a very skilled staff, a dynamic and passionate leadership team, and a strategic vision that will guide it to the next level of excellence,” he said. “That’s a fabulous place to start. But there is also work to be done and I look forward to working with the CAS faculty and staff, Provost’s Council, and the leadership team to providing access for all deserving students who want to be part of a transformative liberal arts and science education and the La Verne Experience.”

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