David A. Laude, senior associate dean for academic affairs and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, has been appointed interim dean of the university's College of Natural Sciences.
Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, dean of the college for 17 years, announced recently that she was leaving to lead the National Math and Science Initiative.
Provost Steven W. Leslie said Laude, whose appointment begins Aug. 1, would provide effective guidance and leadership for the college while a national search is conducted to permanently fill the position. Laude was associate dean for undergraduate education from 1997 until 2010, then senior associate dean for academic affairs until his appointment as interim dean.
Since joining the dean's office, Laude's efforts have focused on creation of undergraduate programs to support student success. He was instrumental in the development of the UTeach program, the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan and the Freshman Research Initiative. Among his many teaching awards, he is recipient of the Jean M. Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, the David W. Blunk Memorial Professorship and the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He continues to teach the large introductory chemistry class to incoming freshmen.
Laude first joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor of chemistry in September 1987. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of the South, a master's of science from Virginia Tech University and a doctor's degree in analytical chemistry from the University of California at Riverside in 1984. Laude's research focuses on analytical mass spectrometry and he is recipient of Beckman Young Investigator and National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Awards. He has published about 100 peer-reviewed articles and supervised more than 20 students earning their Ph.D.s.