Interim President, 1989-1990
Dr. Robert A. Bryan was appointed interim president of the University of Florida following the resignation of Marshall Criser. Bryan’s appointment followed an impressive teaching and administrative career, primarily at the University of Florida.
A native of Lebanon, Pa., Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami, followed by a master’s and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in English.
Before coming to UF in 1957, Bryan was a ship’s officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine, a special agent in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence, and a lecturer at both the University of California’s Extension Division in Tokyo and the University of Kentucky.
A specialist in 16th and 17th century English literature, Bryan began his career at UF as an assistant professor of English until 1961, when he was named assistant to the dean of the graduate school. In 1962, as an associate professor, he became director of UF’s Ford Foundation and three-year master’s degree program, which he would remain until 1968 when he left UF for a position at Florida Atlantic University.
After a year as dean of advanced studies and director of research at Florida Atlantic University, Bryan returned to UF as dean of faculties. A year later he was appointed associate vice president for academic affairs.
In 1975, after screening more than 200 candidates for the position, a faculty committee named Bryan vice president for academic affairs. He was named provost of the university ten years later and served in that capacity until his appointment as interim president.
In addition to his service to the University of Florida, Bryan has served as president of the Florida Association of Colleges, as a consultant for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and as the author of numerous books, journal articles and reviews.