Bernie Machen has served as the president of the University of Florida since January of 2004. During that time, he has strengthened the university’s three core missions of teaching, research and service – while developing a fourth mission of economic development.
Thanks to his leadership, the university has improved its standing in the national higher education rankings and increased its positive influence on Florida’s economy and quality of life. Today, despite the loss of about third of its state allocation to annual budget cuts, UF is more comprehensive and dynamic than at any time in its 159-year history.
Milestones of President Machen’s tenure include:
- Growth in annual research funding from $470 million in 2003-04 to $644 million in the current fiscal year.
- More than 2.8 million square feet in new construction on campus, including nearly 600,000 square feet of new research space.
- Completion of UF’s $1.7 billion capital campaign.
- The 40-acre public private partnership known as Innovation Square and the Innovation Hub technology incubator.
- UF’s first major medical research facility outside Gainesville, the UF Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona in Orlando.
- The Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program, enabling the enrollment of more than 2,600 low-income students who are the first in the families to attend college.
- The spring-summer Innovation Academy for entrepreneurially minded undergraduates.
Dr. Machen also reorganized the UF Health Science Center, strengthening the ties between UF and the Shands family of hospitals. He emphasized clinical research through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. And, the Shands Cancer Hospital was completed under his watch.
Elsewhere at the university, Dr. Machen created the Bob Graham Center for Public Service and the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. His administration has been marked by a strong commitment to environmental causes, including a university-wide sustainability institute that is considered a model in public higher education. The UF Water Institute was created during his time at UF, and a UF nature preserve was designated as one of the first National Science Foundation-sponsored National Ecological Observatory Network sites.
Prior to his arrival at UF, Dr. Machen served for six years as president of the University of Utah, where he is credited with expanding its health sciences program, stabilizing the university’s finances and bolstering diversity.
From 1995 to 1997, President Machen was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, and from 1989 until 1995, he served as dean of Michigan’s School of Dentistry. From 1983 to 1989, he was professor and associate dean at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry.
President Machen has held several prominent positions in national higher education leadership. Since 2005, he has served as a member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board. He chaired the Board of Directors of the National Campus Compact from 2002-2004 and served as a member of the board beginning in 1998. Additionally, beginning in 2010, he served as president of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Conference and chair of the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium.
In 1987, Dr. Machen was president of the American Association of Dental Schools. From 1992 to 1995, he was a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine Committee on Educating Dentists for the Future. He has a past appointment as chief of the Department of Extension Service at the U.S. Army Institute of Dental Research.
A native of Greenwood, Mississippi, Dr. Machen grew up in St. Louis. After attending Vanderbilt University for his undergraduate studies, he earned his doctor of dental surgery degree from St. Louis University and his master of science degree in pediatric dentistry and doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Iowa.
President Machen and his wife, Chris, a former neonatal intensive care nurse, live in Gainesville. They have two sons: Lee, an engineer at Intel in Portland; Michael, an attorney in Chicago; a daughter, Maggie, a veterinarian and resident in small animal cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren.