The University of La Verne appointed Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr. to the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in August 2015. Dr. Potter brings more than twenty years’ experience as an educator to La Verne, having served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles at private and public institutions throughout his career.
He most recently held the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and was tenured professor of English at Jackson State University—an historically Black, urban research-intensive university—in Mississippi. Dr. Potter was responsible for 300 faculty and staff, along with approximately 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students. He led many faculty-focused initiatives such as recruitment, retention and development, while enhancing student learning outcomes and developing quality online learning opportunities.
Dr. Potter previously served as associate dean of the faculty and chief diversity officer at Allegheny College—a selective, private liberal arts college—in Meadville, Pennsylvania; and, rose through the faculty ranks as a scholar of English and African-American literature at the University of St. Thomas—a private Catholic, research university—in Minnesota and Western Michigan University—a large public, research-extensive university.
A champion of diversity and inclusivity initiatives, Dr. Potter developed the Center for Intercultural Advancement and Student Success, the Diversity Scholar-in-Residence, and the Council on Diversity and Equity, and supervised the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, among other programs, at Allegheny.
Dean Potter is an academic visionary whose ideas related to diversity and student success go to the heart of the University of La Verne’s core values. At Allegheny and Western Michigan, Dr. Potter developed several programs with components similar to the La Verne Experience. At Western Michigan, the “Get Connected Program” engaged first-year minority students in a common learning experience, leading to retention success between freshman-to-sophomore enrollment years. He created “ACCESS ALLegheny,” a series of workshops on academic expectations, social acclimation, peer mentoring and academic support resources, along with “NAVI-GATORS,” a first-year peer mentor program focusing on underrepresented populations and international students.
Over the course of his academic career, Dr. Potter has garnered both federal and private foundation grants totaling more than $8M. One of his greatest accomplishments was establishing and directing the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at St. Thomas where more than one hundred first-generation, low-income students completed faculty-student research and mentoring. Eighty-seven percent of the program’s participants have advanced degree programs (MA, MS, MSW, PhD/MD, MD, PharmD, JD).
In 2009-2010, Dr. Potter was named an American Council on Education Fellow. He spent a year at DePaul University in Chicago being mentored by President Fr. Dennis Holtschneider. The St. Paul Foundation awarded him the Facing Race Ambassador Award for his anti-racism work in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota in 2008.
Dean Potter has been recognized for his outstanding teaching and mentoring of students and faculty. For his teaching excellence and leadership, Dean Potter was awarded the Lewis Walker Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award at Western Michigan University and receiving William B. Malevich Faculty Leadership Award at the University of St. Thomas. Diverse Issues in Higher Education did a three-part series recognizing Dr. Potter’s transformative leadership on diversity and inclusion in higher education. His work and diversity models have been used by many colleges and universities where he has consulted nationally.
A respected scholar-teacher, he has published a number of articles in the Encyclopedia of African-American Literature and other publications, including “Brother to Brother: Collected Writings by Black Gay Men,” “Invisible Life” and “Literary Authenticity: Life, Reality and Experience as Reflected in Black Literature.” His essay, “Still Invisible, Still Voiceless: Or, Still Too Taboo?” in Ain’t Nobody Worryin’: Maleness and Masculinity in Black America (2011) was recognized by the American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA) as best scholarly contribution on black masculinity. Dean Potter is currently finishing a monograph on famed Harlem Renaissance author and critic Wallace Henry Thurman entitle, Harlem’s Forgotten Genius: The Life and Literary World of Wallace Henry Thurman. Recently, he was asked to co-edit a volume for the series Research and Ethnic Relations on race and ethnicity in 21st-century higher education. Potter has presented more than seventy academic papers at national and international conferences. He has served as speaker and panelist for a number of national organizations including the American Association of Colleges & Universities and the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.
Dr. Potter graduated magna cum laude with a triple major in English, philosophy, and religion from Stillman College and earned his Master’s and Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Dr. Brian D. Clocksin joined the Dean’s Office following five years as the Chair of the Kinesiology Department. Since his arrival to La Verne, Dr. Clocksin has worked with his colleagues in Kinesiology to rename the department (previously Movement & Sports Science), secured funding to remodel and purchase equipment for the Kinesiology Lab, and launch an Engaged Department initiative.
Prior to the University of La Verne, Dr. Clocksin was a tenured, Associate Professor of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY). While at Hofstra, Dr. Clocksin served as the Graduate Director for the M.S. in Physical Education and the Director of Adventure Education. During his seven years at Hofstra, Dr. Clocksin led the development of two new master degree programs and a 5-year dual-degree (BS/MS) program. Brian played a leadership role in accreditation reviews for NCATE and TEAC and was a program auditor for NCATE SPA affiliate NASPE. He also served as the Chair of the Council for Adventure Outdoor Education and Recreation. Dr. Clocksin spent four years on the Board of Directors for the Pomona Valley YMCA. He currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of School Health, the International Journal of Aquatics Research and Education, and the Physical Educator.
Professor Clocksin received his B.S. in Exercise Sciences from Willamette University (Salem, OR). He received his M.A. in Physical Education from the University of Northern Colorado and his Ph.D. in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Utah. His research has focused on the role physical activity and sport play in the development of personal and social responsibility, community engaged learning, and adventure education. Dr. Clocksin has 14 published articles in the leading peer-reviewed journals in his field and routinely presents at national conference in his area of specialty and on topics of student learning and engagement. In 2013 he collaborated with a colleague to publish a textbook Using Sport & Physical Activity to Teach Personal and Social Responsibility. Brian has successfully received nine grants to support his research and enhance the educational experience of students. He was a 2017 recipient of the Spirit of La Verne Award as an Engaged Scholar.
Dr. Clocksin has been actively engaged in faculty governance since arriving at La Verne. He spent two years as the vice president for the faculty senate. He is currently part of the Institutional Assessment Taskforce and collaborated with colleagues to develop a measurement plan for the Baccalaureate Learning Outcomes. Brian participated in the 125-year planning committee, represented the College as part of the University Personnel Council, and was on the VP of University Advancement search committee. Brian lives in Pomona with his wife Kimberly and their two children, Lilka and Michael.
Professor Ian T. Lising received his B.A. in Political Science from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He received his M.A. in Education from the University of La Verne. He was a lecturer in the English Department and Interdisciplinary Studies Program and Debate Coach of Ateneo from 1994-1999. He also taught English at Ateneo High School from 1994-1997 and Communications and English at the Assumption College, San Lorenzo from 1997-1998. He began coaching the ULV Forensics Team in the fall of 1999 and started teaching in the Speech Communication Department in 2000.
Professor Lising was the co-Founder, Chair and Coach of the Ateneo Debate Society from 1991-1998. He coached the 1st Asian Debate Champion team at the inaugural event in 1995. In 1999, he served as the Championship Director of the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC). Later that year, he coached the University of La Verne to the Final Round of the Oxford Union International Intervarsity Debating Championship. His teams from Ateneo and La Verne have become WUDC Octofinalists, Quarterfinalists, Semifinalists, and Grand Finalists. At the 2003 WUDC in South Africa, La Verne was the only American university to advance past the preliminary rounds. In 2007, La Verne won the U.S. National Championships. As a debater, Professor Lising was twice a Finalist at the World Masters Debating Championship.
He served as the World Debate Council Chair from 2002–2008 and was named World Council Member Emeritus. He is a six-time Grand Finals Adjudicator at the WUDC. He has also adjudicated the semifinal of the Australasian Debating Championships and the finals of the Yale Intervarsity, Oxford Intervarsity, Cambridge Intervarsity, Canadian University Society Intercollegiate Debate National Championships, U.S. Universities National Championships, and All-Asian Debating Championships. His textbook on debating was published by Kendall Hunt in February 2010. Across the House: The Art and Science of World Universities Championship Debating offers a formal introduction to debate style from the WUDC.
At the University of La Verne, he teaches Fundamentals of Public Speaking, Argumentation and Debate, Persuasion and Social Influence, Science Communication, Results-Oriented Interviewing, Public Controversy and Criticism, Rhetorical Theory, and Voices of Revolution. The University appointed him Speech Communication Department Chair in 2009 after he became tenured. Lising has served on the International Studies Institute, CAS Curriculum committee, and on the University Faculty Senate. In 2017, to commemorate the University of La Verne’s sesquicentennial, he was honored as one of its 125 Influential Individuals.