David Laude has been a member of the faculty in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin since 1987. During the first ten years of his tenure at UT Austin, he ran a large research program in mass spectrometry. From 1996 to 2012, he held various administrative positions in the dean’s office of the College of Natural Sciences and served as interim dean. Prof. Laude has an established reputation for teaching excellence and curriculum innovation at The University of Texas at Austin and has received many awards for his teaching, including membership in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. For the past 19 years, he has taught general chemistry in what has become one of the most popular courses on campus, and has the largest enrollment of any course taught in the College of Natural Sciences.
Prof. Laude has been a leader in program reform at the undergraduate level at UT Austin for the past 25 years. In 1996, he chaired the original committee that proposed the teacher preparation program known today as UTeach. In 1999, he created the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan as a way to provide a small college-learning environment for students with adversity indicators. Prof. Laude was also instrumental in the creation of the Freshman Research Initiative that today enrols 900 incoming freshman students in the research programs of science faculty.
In 2012, Prof. Laude joined the provost’s office to champion four-year graduation rates. He developed the 360 Communities program that places all 8500 incoming freshmen in small communities to assist with acclimation to the university, and coordinates assignment of 2000 incoming freshmen from under-resourced backgrounds to freshman success programs. He has redefined the role of financial services to support new programs like the University Leadership Network that further integrates students into the UT Austin community. All of these efforts have contributed to what are now the highest persistence and graduation rates in the university’s history.
Prof. Laude is now leading the new College to Career Task Force, whose mission is to assess and confirm that UT Austin is providing students with the support and resources to achieve the needed skills, experiences and co-curricular knowledge to prepare for life after graduation.