2015 Beckman Symposium   

David A. Laude, PhD

Presentation Date:

David A. Laude, PhD

Career Advancement within the University

University of Texas at Austin

Senior Vice Provost and Professor of Chemistry
1991 Beckman Young Investigator

Professor Laude has been a member of the faculty in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin since 1987. During the first ten years of his tenure at UT Austin, he was recognized for his teaching excellence while he ran a large research program in mass spectrometry. He was promoted after nine years to full professor. From 1996 - 2012 he held various administrative positions in the Dean’s Office of the College of Natural Sciences and served as interim dean. He is currently serving as the Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management with an undergraduate education portfolio that includes admissions, financial aid, registration, curriculum and on-line education. In addition, as part of a strategic plan to increase its four-year graduation rate, the university has appointed Dr. Laude as their graduation rate champion to oversee its efforts to streamline the undergraduate experience and remove institutional roadblocks to timely graduation.

For thirteen years, Professor Laude maintained a research program in analytical mass spectrometry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He was recipient of a Beckman Young Investigator from the Beckman Foundation and was a Presidential Young Investigator from the National Science Foundation. He maintained a large laboratory supported by NSF and NIH funding and graduated 24 Ph.D. students and produced 95 publications.

Professor Laude has an established reputation for teaching excellence and curriculum innovation at the University of Texas at Austin and has received many awards for his teaching, including membership in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. For the past 16 years Professor Laude has taught general chemistry in what has become one of the most popular courses on campus, and has the largest enrollment of any course taught in the College of Natural Sciences. The course was part of the University’s Course Transformation Project, and is now taught with a hybrid model of lecture and on-line content to maximize student success.

Professor Laude has been a leader in program reform at the undergraduate level at UT Austin for the past 27 years. For example, upon entering the dean’s office in 1996, he chaired the original committee that proposed the teacher preparation program known today as UTeach, and was its director during the first two years of operation while it obtained external certification. In 1999, he created the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan as a way to provide a small college learning environment for students with adversity indicators—TIP has grown from an initial cohort of 40 Natural Sciences pre-health professions students to nearly 500 first year students. In 1998, Professor Laude created the Undergraduate Research Forum that has grown to showcase the original research of more than 200 natural science undergraduates each year. Professor Laude was instrumental in the creation of the Freshman Research Initiative that today enrolls 900 incoming freshman students in the research programs of more than 25 CNS faculty. He also oversaw the Health Professions Office and served as faculty adviser to the Joint Admission Medical Program that guaranteed Pell-grant eligible students admission to medical school.

Since entering the Provost’s Office, Professor Laude has worked to expand the successes he achieved in the College of Natural Sciences to the entire campus while overseeing the Offices of Admissions, Registrar and Financial Services. For example, he developed the 360 Communities program that places all 7200 incoming freshman in small communities to assist with acclimation to the university, and coordinates assignment of 1500 incoming freshmen from under-resourced backgrounds who participate in freshman success programs. He has redefined the role of Financial Services to support new programs like Summer Bridge and University Leadership Network that further integrate students with financial need into the UT Austin community. All of these efforts have contributed to what are now the highest first and second year retention rates in the university’s history.

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