Florida State provost wins top award from national advising group

Lawrence G. Abele

Florida State University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Lawrence G. Abele has won a top national award in recognition of his support of academic advising initiatives that have improved retention and graduation rates at the university.

Abele will receive the Pacesetter Award from the National Academic Advising Association in San Antonio during its annual conference in September. The award is presented annually to one administrator who exemplifies a commitment to academic advising and who has proven to be a true advocate for students and advisers.

"Dr. Abele’s recognition of the importance of academic advising is rooted in his desire to help students make the most of their college education and earn the degrees for which they have worked," said Dean of Undergraduate Studies Karen Laughlin in a letter nominating Abele for the award. "This dedication to the students … includes a firm belief that academic advising plays a key role in students’ academic satisfaction and success. The many innovative programs that he has shaped and supported put this belief into action on a daily basis."

Since Abele was appointed provost in 1994, he has supported several unique initiatives that have contributed to a steady increase in retention and graduation rates as well as in the overall quality of the student body, Laughlin said. Over the past 10 years, retention has increased from 83 percent to nearly 90 percent even while enrollment has increased.

Those initiatives include Advising First, which serves the majority of Florida State’s undergraduate students; the nationally acclaimed Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE), which provides tutoring, peer mentoring and other academic enrichment activities to low-income and first-generation college students; the Academic Center for Excellence, which helps first-year students with academic difficulty; and a unique academic mapping system, designed to keep students on course to graduate in four years.