About the College (archived)

History

Deans

Current Dean
Lucinda Lavelli
2006-present

Lucinda Lavelli, who began her tenure as dean in 2006, oversees the University of Florida College of the Arts. UF is a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant public educational institution based in Gainesville, Florida, which enrolls approximately 50,000 students annually. As one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at UF, the College of the Arts houses baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs and its approximately 1,100 majors and 100 faculty members in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance.

Based on the work of the university and the college, Lavelli launched a creative campus initiative joining other major universities recognizing that arts are a catalyst for creativity and innovation and she has been invited to speak nationally and internationally on the topic.

In 2014, UF received more than $700 million in research funding — a tangible example of the rewards of innovation. As the university works to serve the demands of its students, academic requirements increasingly provide opportunities to foster the skills needed in the new marketplace of ideas. These skills — creativity, empathy, innovation, design skills, storytelling, caregiving and big-picture thinking — have long been developed in arts programs.

Lavelli, along with college leaders, has positioned the College of the Arts as a partner incorporating creativity across the curriculum and campus through a number of initiatives including Creative Campus, SEA (Science, Engineering and the Arts) Change, Creative B, STEAM Quest, Creativity in Arts and Science Event (CASE) and Art on Campus. She has also worked to strengthen the college’s interdisciplinary centers, institutes and affiliates, including the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute and the college program of the New World School of the Arts in Miami. 

Prior to her service at the University of Florida, Lavelli was the first provost and vice chancellor for arts and academics at the North Carolina School of the Arts from 2002 to 2006. From 1993 to 2002, she served at the University of Akron as director of the School of Dance and then as director of the School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration. 
Lavelli earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management and a Master of Fine Arts in Theater Arts and Dance, both from Case Western Reserve University; a bachelor’s in psychology from Denison University; and, certification in Laban Movement Analysis from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.

Lavelli has been an active member of numerous boards and arts organizations. In 2013 she was awarded the Professional Achievement Award from the Alumni Association of Case Western Reserve University and in 2005 was awarded the OhioDance award for service to the artform. Currently she serves on the boards of Dance Alive! National Ballet; New World School of the Arts, a public conservatory for high school and college students in Miami; and, the Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS).  She serves on the advisory boards of the publication Dean and Provost and Groundworks Dance Theatre. She was the founding institutional member of the Arts Alliance for Research Universities (a2ru) and is the past president of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) and the Florida Higher Education Arts Network (FHEAN).

Former Dean
Donald E. McGlothlin
Dean Emeritus (1990-2005)

McGlothlin began at UF in 1972 as chair of the Department of Music. He left in 1976 to become chair of the Department of Music at the University of Missouri-Columbia. At Missouri, he was named founding director of the new School of Fine Arts, which consisted of the departments of music, art, and theater. When he returned to UF in 1990 as Dean of the College of Fine Arts, he brought with him extensive experience and a rich, interdisciplinary background as an arts administrator. Under his guidance, the College of Fine Arts grew in many important ways, especially as a leader in multicultural and diversity education, and as a model for the development of international and interdisciplinary arts programs. During his tenure, the number and quality of students pursuing accredited professional degrees offered by the college increased significantly with graduate enrollment more than doubling. Eight new academic programs were added to the curriculum and the three departments became fully accredited schools. Additionally, during his term as dean, McGolthlin saw the creation of both the Philips Center for Performing Arts and the Nadine McGuire Dance Pavilion as well as the Digital Worlds Institute, Center for World Arts, and Center for Arts and Healthcare. He returned to teaching in the School of Music after a year's sabbatical.

Former Dean
Joseph J. Sabatella
Founding Dean (1975-1990)

Joseph J. Sabatella came to the University of Florida in 1959 to teach drawing and design in the Department of Architecture. In 1966 he became assistant dean- and in 1974 acting dean- of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts. He was appointed Dean of the College of Fine Arts in 1975. At the time of his appointment, he became the sole administrator of the new college aided only by two full-time staff personnel. During his time as Dean of the College of Fine Arts he sought to give the arts greater visibility on campus in many ways including opening up the introductory art classes to non-majors. He was involved in the creation of the Harn Museum. He was a member of the Fine Arts Commission of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, served on the Executive Board of Directors of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, and the Executive Committee of the Florida Higher Education Arts Network. His artwork has been represented in numerous national and regional exhibitions, and is included in many private collections in the U.S. and England. His work can also be seen as the illustrations in several books. He is listed in Men of Achievement, Personalities of the South, Who's Who in American Art, and Who's Who in America. He stepped down as Dean to return to teaching in 1990 and retired in 1996.