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.