Dean Hub Brown

Interview by Aurora Martínez

Hub Brown is the new dean of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. He just moved to Gainesville with his wife, Nicci; his children Maddi and Haley — and their dog, Domino.

Dean Brown said his dog, Domino, was black and white when he was a puppy.
Fun fact: Domino is a Havanese, so in coming to Florida, Brown said he’s getting closer to his motherland.

1. Coffee or tea? Definitely coffee. I’m too picky about coffee for my own good. Making a pot of coffee at home usually means grinding the beans beforehand.

2. Emails or phone calls? Actually, texts more often than not. Then phone calls. Sometimes, I answer emails in my head, and have to go back and make sure I answer them in real life.

3. What are you most excited for this fall? I’m most excited to have everyone back in person, to visit with students, faculty, and staff, and hear their hopes for the College.

4. What does diversity mean to you? I could talk about this all day. Diversity means an environment where everyone is respected and free to contribute to the enterprise in which they are involved. It means not just being included but being consulted, that every perspective, every background, has value. Diversity means that leaders know that their organizations are not complete if everyone within them looks the same, and they know that’s a situation that cannot stand. In universities, it means a student of color is just as likely as a white student to see the institution as THEIR home, because the university has made that clear to all, through word and deed.

5. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were a college student? That having a valid passport was worth whatever I would have had to do to get it, and that using it will change you forever. I didn’t get my first passport until I was 40, and it is one of the great regrets of my life.

6. From everything you have seen so far at the CJC, is there anything specific that has stuck out in your mind that makes you want to work on it? The biggest thing is making sure I have the time to physically visit offices all over the College and hear from staff, faculty, and students on a regular basis. The CJC is a big place, and I imagine it would be easy to get isolated from one another. People need to be seen and heard, so I will need to carve out time to see people and hear what they think is important.

7. What’s the biggest misconception people have about someone entering a position just like yours? I think a lot of people see a Dean as more of an autocrat than a Dean should be. I believe in shared governance — the administration and the faculty work together to solve problems and advance as a college. I have ideas about where I think the College can go, but I need buy-in from the faculty and staff in order to move forward. That is as it should be. I come to the job of Dean from the faculty. I started 2021 in a classroom with a group of broadcast journalism sophomores. 

8. Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I love baseball. A ballpark in summer is a place to put your problems on hold for a few hours. My wife and I had our very first conversation in one. I’m from Omaha, Nebraska, which the home of the College World Series, and the next time the Gator baseball team goes to the CWS, I’m going back to Omaha with them.