Dean debut

Professor of history Larry E. Rivers was named the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Thursday.

Rivers, 53, was the former director of the master of applied social science program from 1990 to 2001, won the 2001 Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s first place book award in nonfiction.

Rivers, who has served as interim dean of the same college since Aug. 8, 2002, was chosen over Abraham Weaver, who holds a doctorate of pharmacy.

“Dr. Larry Rivers is an excellent professional for the position of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Ralph Turner, acting associate dean of the College of arts and Sciences. “His long tenure in the college gives him an excellent perspective on which he can move the college forward.”

Rivers holds a bachelor’s degree in social science education, a master’s in American history and political science, a doctorate in American history and curriculum development and another in African-American and cultural studies.

He has approximately 29 years of experience in program development and evaluation, which include service at college and university levels.

Before accepting the position of interim dean, Rivers held several posts at the university. He has served as director of division of social and behavioral sciences and chairman of the department of history, political science, economics and African-American studies.

In addition to teaching history courses, he has served as co-director of the research team commissioned by the Florida Legislature to investigate the 1923 Rosewood Incident.

Rivers has received over 35 awards for his teaching, research, publications and community service.

“I am very excited about the future of the college under Dr. River’s leadership,” said Maurice Edington, acting chair of the department of chemistry. “He has shown a willingness to work with the faculty to improve the college.”

Although there may be doubts concerning the search committee’s timetable in submitting the recommendation, Rivers said he has verbally accepted the position.

“I look forward to leading the wonderful cadre of faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Sciences,” Rivers said. “I’ve been prepared to take on the challenge of improving on good programs and extending other academic programs.”

Rivers said he plans to develop a connection with students by creating a committee, which will consist of students from the 15 departments within the college.

“I want more faculty meetings to ascertain the concerns of the faculty,” Rivers said. “My door is open at 7:30 a.m. if you have burning issues.”