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University of La Verne Dean Lawrence Potter Joins Board of Directors for American Conference of Academic Deans and San Bernardino Catholic Elementary Schools

Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr., dean of the University of La Verne College of Arts and Sciences, has joined the boards of directors of two prominent educational organizations.

Dr. Potter was elected to the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) Board of Directors in January and the San Bernardino Catholic Elementary Schools (SBCES) Board of Directors in December.

The American Conference of Academic Deans is dedicated to the professional development of academic leaders. Recognizing that provosts, deans, and other academic administrators undertake academic leadership as their second discipline, ACAD assists these leaders as they advance in careers dedicated to the ideals of liberal education. Through meetings and workshops relevant to the current and future directions of higher education, ACAD facilitates professional networking across institutional types in order to promote collaboration, innovation, and effective practice.

An active member of ACAD since 2010, Dr. Potter has participated in the ACAD Deans’ Institute, which is held during the annual American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) meeting in January. For the past several years, he has facilitated or participated in ACAD panels on race and leadership in higher education, diversity and inclusion, and the experience of being an African American dean. In January, Dean Potter organized a pre-conference workshop with colleagues Dr. Kendrick Brown, University of Redlands dean of arts and sciences, and Hideko Sera, University of Redlands associate dean in the School of Education. The workshop was titled, “Through the Looking Glass: Leadership Lessons on Negotiating Race and identity in the 21st Century Academy.”

“Being named to the ACAD Board of Directors signals the high regard colleagues from institutions nationwide have in my commitment to liberal arts education, leadership, and the impact minority voices play in shaping the leadership narrative,” Potter said. “Membership and participation in board activities afford me opportunities to hone my skills in organizational leadership on multiple levels. I look forward to my service in this organization.”

The San Bernardino Catholic Elementary Schools works to help students in San Bernardino access values-based education. The motto, “Two Schools, Six Parishes, One City, One Community” resonated with Dr. Potter, who was raised Catholic and previously worked at a Catholic university.

“Providing my time to help advance the SBCES mission is the least I can do to help minority youth and families in San Bernardino experience the benefits of a private Catholic education,” he said. “I know the benefits first-hand having been educated in Catholic schools.”

As a board member of each organization, Dr. Potter will help to promote the mission, oversee the budget, and establish short- and long-term goals.

Dr. Potter joined the University of La Verne in 2015 as dean, bringing more than 20 years of experience in both faculty and administrative roles at private and public institutions.

He has been recognized for outstanding teaching and mentoring of students and faculty, as well as leadership. Diverse Issues in Higher Education published a three-part series recognizing Dr. Potter’s transformative leadership in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and the impact of race in higher education. His work and diversity models have been used by colleges and universities across the country.

Dr. Potter served as chief diversity officer for the University of St. Thomas from 2005 to 2010. He worked to increase access for all students at the Catholic research institution by securing scholarships, creating an inclusive campus, and improving retention among students from underserved communities.