UF professor, associate chair named as Dean of The Graduate School

The University of Florida announced Thursday that a veteran professor and associate chair has been promoted to dean of UF’s Graduate School.

Nicole Stedman, Ph.D., associate chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will succeed Henry “Hank” Frierson, who is retiring effective May 28 after 14 years at UF. Stedman will assume her new role on June 1.

“Dr. Stedman brings to the position solid institutional knowledge and fresh ideas that I know will propel The Graduate School to new levels of excellence,” said Joe Glover, UF Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

As dean, Stedman would provide leadership in operating The Graduate School and all centrally administered aspects of graduate education, such as defining and implementing university-wide policies in graduate education; recruiting and retaining a diverse graduate student body; and advocating for graduate education. The position reports directly to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

"I am so incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the University of Florida as Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost," Stedman said. "I am looking forward to joining the Graduate School team and supporting all of our graduate students across our great campus. We are certainly positioned for advancing the University’s Drive to Five initiative and all the innovative endeavors that our graduate students and programs are part of at UF."

Stedman has been at UF since 2007 when she joined the faculty as an assistant professor. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

A native of New Smyrna Beach and a three-time UF alumna, Stedman holds a bachelor of science degree in family, youth and community sciences; a master of science degree in agricultural education and communication; and a doctorate also in agricultural education and communication with an emphasis in leadership education. Before completing her Ph.D., she worked with the Eighth Judicial Circuit Office of the State Attorney Project Payback as a program specialist, developing leadership curriculum for youth at risk.

Nicole Stedman

UF News April 22, 2021