Francis Leo Lawrence

Francis Leo Lawrence

University President
University President Less

Francis Leo Lawrence

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Francis Leo Lawrence (born August 25, 1937) was the eighteenth president of Rutgers University, serving from 1990 to 2002.

Early years

Francis Leo Lawrence was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where he graduated from Mount St. Charles Academy in 1955. Lawrence earned his bachelor's degree from St. Louis University in French and Spanish in 1959. He was awarded an NDEA fellowship for graduate study and earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in French classical literature from Tulane University in 1962.

Before his appointment as President of Rutgers University in 1990, Lawrence was Academic Vice President and Provost at Tulane University, where he had also served as Dean of Newcomb College and Dean of the Graduate School. He is married to Mary Kathryn Long Lawrence. They have four children and thirteen grandchildren.

Presidency of Rutgers

Lawrence's twelve year tenure at Rutgers was received with a mix of criticism and praise. He was praised for impressive fundraising efforts,the improvement of undergraduate education and for the increased academic quality of incoming students, as well as the construction of new academic facilities for the Mason Gross School of the Arts, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and the Rutgers-Newark Center for Law and Justice. He was criticized for promoting "big time"...
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