University of North Florida

Mailing address: 
1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224
Head of Institution/Senior Applicant Name: 
David Szymanski
Head of Institution/Senior Applicant Title/Position: 
President, University of North Florida
Head of Institution/Senior Applicant Email:
Focal point 1 - Name: 
Jeff Chamberlain
Focal point 1 - Title: 
Dean, Hicks Honors College
Focal point 1 - Email:
Focal point 2 - Name: 
Diane Yendol-Hoppy
Focal point 2 - Title: 
Dean, College of Education and Human Services
Focal point 2 - Email:
Focal point 3 - Name: 
Ruth Lopez
Focal point 3 - Title: 
Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of the International Center
Focal point 3 - Email:
Please provide a brief description of your academic structure: 
UNF is organized into the following six colleges: - The Brooks College of Health - The Brooks College of Health prepares students to enter a variety of fields through specialized programming enhanced by partnerships with area healthcare organizations. With an emphasis on hands-on learning in clinical settings and research in laboratories with cutting-edge technologies, nearly 3,000 students each year work toward degrees in nursing, nutrition and dietetics, athletic training, health science and administration. - The Coggin College of Business- Students learn competencies through internships and by working with business mentors from the community, and gain a global perspective through study abroad. The Coggin College of Business curriculum is designed around several academic areas: accounting, economics, finance, marketing, management and logistics. - The College of Arts and Sciences - The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest of UNF's six colleges with more than 6,300 students studying across an expansive array of undergraduate majors and a growing number of graduate programs. To provide high-quality learning experiences, the College designs programs that allow students to engage and respond to the local community with unique and relevant opportunities for transformational learning. The College consists of 15 academic departments and houses a variety of programs and centers including a Public Opinion Research Laboratory. - The College of Computing, Engineering and Construction - The College is composed of three academic units: the School of Computing, the School of Engineering and the Department of Construction Management. One of the College's hallmarks is the high level of interaction between faculty and students on innovative research projects. In addition, the College partners with corporations to provide students with real-world academic challenges, paid internships and collaborations with professionals who serve as mentors. Many seniors spend their final year solving problems posed by area corporations to complete a capstone project. - The College of Education and Human Services - Partnerships are key to UNF's education programs. Students gain clinical learning opportunities through the Urban Professional Development School Partnership, a two-time national award-winning program created in collaboration with the Duval County Public Schools, as well as the Jacksonville Teacher Residency Program. In addition to its K-12 programs, the College offers training for positions in higher education and administration, sport management, deaf education and American Sign Language/English Interpreting. Many of the College's students participate in study abroad experiences through a 30-year long partnership established with the University of Belize and the country's Ministry of Education. - Hicks Honors College - UNF's honors program was elevated to the Hicks Honors College in 2015. Hicks students come in with an average 20-27 credit hours. The College provides these high-achieving students with challenging curriculum including courses in leadership, innovation and critical thinking. Hicks' students also have the opportunity to study abroad at an affordable price through scholarship funding available through the College. - The Thomas G. Carpenter Library - The Thomas G. Carpenter Library, an architecturally beautiful building, provides students with easy access to a wealth of information resources and learning services. Named after UNF's founding president, Thomas G. Carpenter, the campus library was built in 1980 and renovated and expanded in 2005. Within four floors and 199,000 square feet, the Carpenter Library offers students access to more than 360 computers and laptops, 860,000 volumes, 300,000 e-books, 38,000 electronic journals, 260 databases and 66,000 streaming videos. The Carpenter Library Learning Commons offers students a flexible academic environment with technology, research consultations, instruction, study rooms and online resources. Through its Art in the Library program, the Library has added 130 pieces of art donated by artists and collectors. - Research - The University of North Florida offers an innovative model for the role of research in an urban, comprehensive university. High-quality scholarship is expected from every tenure-track faculty member, and the University accordingly features an enviable portfolio of basic, applied and translational research activity that in many disciplines enjoys and international reputation. And yet, as a public master's university with a very high undergraduate population, the University emphasizes the engagement of undergraduates in the vibrant research enterprise. The University encourages students to get involved in faculty-mentored research and to collaborate with faculty on conference papers and published articles. - Board of Trustees - UNF is governed by a local Board of Trustees. Board members are appointed by the governor (six citizen members) and by the Board of Governors (five citizen members). These appointees must be confirmed by the Florida Senate. The remaining two members are the president of the Faculty Association and the president of Student Government. - Board of Governors - The Board of Governors is comprised of 17 members, 14 of whom are appointed by the Florida governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a term of seven years. The remaining members include the chair of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates, the commissioner of Education and the chair of the Florida Student Association. The Board oversees the operation and management of the Florida public university system's 12 institutions.
Please describe briefly any activities your institution is already carrying out, which are relevant to UNAI and its principles: 
EDUCATION FOR ALL - Academic Programs/Units - BA in Deaf Education: Prepares teachers for initial certification in Deaf Education and is also ESOL endorsed. Exceptional Student Education Program: Prepares special education teachers for their roles embedded in Professional Development School (PDS). As a PDS school, UNF EDIE faculty provide professional development opportunities to school faculty, embedded coursework for preservice teachers, including coaching and supervision, in high-need schools. Certificate in International Education: Students engage in study abroad opportunities that include internships in PDS Mayan schools in Belize, Haiti, and England (i.e., Chester, Plymouth). Department of Leadership, School Counseling, and Sport Management (LSCSM) School Counseling Program: Implements strategies needed to eliminate the achievement gap between minority and low-income students and their more advantaged peers. - Grant-funded Activities - College of Education and Human Services: Awarded a $1.6 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant for the US Depart of Education to support innovative teacher preparation models to prepare new teacher to serve students in high-need schools. In collaboration with Duval County Public Schools, goals of this grant include (a) increasing the number of teachers certified to teach high need subjects and grades, (b) increase retention of highly effective teachers in high-need schools/subjects, and increase the motivation and performance of high-need students. The intention is to provide K-12 students who are underrepresented in the STEM fields with access to teachers who are well-prepared with 21st century skills. - Community Partnerships - BA in Deaf Education: Partners with several schools for the Deaf in Haiti. The students served in these schools have faced natural disasters, political unrest, and extreme poverty. Also partners with Central Riverside Elementary through the CRES-UNF Deaf Reading Buddies program. Students enrolled in EHD 4990 are partnered with 2 deaf or hard of hearing students to provide reading tutoring for the semester. Finally, partners with the Deaf Education program partners with the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) on a wide variety of projects, including teacher practicums, internships, a Pen Pal Program, volunteering to support Eyes Alive!, and an after-school program that creates news segments for the school in American Sign Language. Hicks Honors Colloquium: Partners with local refugee community in a large service project involving all 200 students. Specifically, 60 students partner with an ESOL school and a variety of non-profits to offer children who are mostly refugees or immigrants extra mentoring or physical education on a weekly basis. A subset of those students have started a campus club to continue their efforts year-round. All together we serve about 160 elementary school aged children for 2 hours weekly. Brooks College of Health: Partners with YMCA to provide several educational workshops focused on self-improvement: (1) Career Workshop; (2) Stress Management Workshop; (3) Self-Care Workshop; and (4) Healthy Relationships Workshop. - Recognition - Taylor Leadership Institute: Recognized by NPR & WJXT (Jacksonville) as the American Graduate Champion recipient for our use of education as a catalyst for human, social and economic development. Our leadership training has been heralded for equipping high-poverty K-12 and first-generation collegiate students with valuable skills such as time management, goal setting, confidence and grit. The Transforming School Counseling Initiative: In December 2011, The Education Trust named the UNF School Counseling Program a stand out program and an example of excellence in establishing “educational equity and academic success for every pre-K-12 student.” GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP - Academic Programs/Units - BBA in International Business: Requires 4 semesters of language study, a minimum of 4 weeks studying abroad, and an internationally-focused internship. Global MBA: Master program focusing on intercultural communication and international management practices in the U.S., Asia, and Eastern/Western Europe. Coggin College of Business Dual Bachelor Degree Programs: Each includes intensive language study and a semester-long internship in the host country. Programs include KEDGE-UNF, Valencia-UNF, Alicante-UNF (pending final approval), and Bremen-UNF (pending final approval). Language, Literatures and Cultures Department: Transformational Learning Opportunities offer unique, faculty-led study abroad trips to Colombia, France and Spain. For the trips to Spain and France, students live with a host family for five weeks, taking two meals a day with their families. Students on the Colombia trip study that nation’s “Peace and Reconciliation” efforts through an exploration of how street art and local community associations reclaim urban spaces that have been affected by violence. BA in International Studies: Coordinates global citizenship-themed events that involve faculty, staff and students from across the campus, including a lecture/film series, International Mondays, and research symposiums. Brooks College of Health: Advances global citizenship through the Strategic Global Initiatives Committee, a public health partnership with Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg that allows their graduate students to enroll in our Global Health Certificate as part of their program, and a study abroad program focused on experiential learning in global citizenship and international humanitarian law with site visits (i.e. WFP, WHO, Red Cross Museum, UN OHCHR), interactive lectures (i.e. Lyon Universite II, American University of Paris), and an international crisis management exercise on disaster management in the developing world. Department of Anthropology: Rosa De Jorio regularly organizes public events at UNF, such as talks and roundtables, to promote greater understanding of the diversity and global interconnections of African cultures. The events are open to the UNF community and the larger city of Jacksonville. This year she organized a roundtable on Human Rights in West Africa, where national and international scholars presented on human rights violations (e.g. gender-based violence, etc.) in a number of African nations. Ron Lukens-Bull regularly organizes study abroad programs for students (e.g. Malaysia and Morocco) to promote an understanding of Islamic cultures in a comparative perspective. - Community Partnerships - World Affairs Council of Jacksonville (WAC) Great Decisions Program: A number of UNF faculty participate in this program, which brings professors into the classrooms of local high schools to deliver lectures and other programming focused on topics in international affairs. The WAC also brings world-renowned speakers to the UNF campus for free lectures that advance public knowledge and discourse on global issues. Notable speakers have included Dr. Madiha Afzal, Fouad Ajami, Justice Stephen Breyer, Felipe Calderon, Simeon Djankov, Rana Foroohar, Ambassador Husain Haqqani, and Afshin Molavi. - Recognition - The University of North Florida is ranked No. 8 nationally on the list of "Leading Institutions by Duration and Institutional Type" for short-term study abroad programs and No. 12 nationwide on the list of "Leading Institutions by Institutional Type," according to the Institute of International Education's 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. INTER-CULTURAL DIALOGUE - Academic Programs/Units - Global MBA: This master’s program focuses on intercultural communication and international management practices in the U.S., Asia, and Eastern/Western Europe. Students spending a semester or more abroad attend an orientation session, each with a pre- and post- travel component, focusing on cultural adaptation (via discussions and simulations) and how to turn newly acquired intercultural competencies into assets for the workforce. Finally, the Coggin Delegation buddy program connects domestic and international exchange students each semester to facilitate cultural, academic, language exchange, and friendship. Hicks Honors College: Intercultural dialogue is one of the program goals for the Hicks Honors College. Two hundred incoming freshmen who take the Honors Colloquium class engage in “diversity activities” and reflection as well as service hours to support our local refugee community. Twenty students deepen their experience in spring through a writing class that is co-taught with a class of international students to engage in intensive dialogue building on those earlier experiences. Another 20 take a different writing class that asks them to rethink their “diversity activities” from multiple perspectives over the course of the semester. Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department: The Voces y Caras project (initiated and directed by Professor Constanza López, Associate Professor Spanish) works to create inter-cultural dialogue between the UNF community (both students and faculty) and the Spanish-speaking population of Northeast Florida (see: This ongoing project began in 2012 and now archives more than one hundred interviews and photos of area residents who have shared a part of their life story and their experiences as Hispanic, bilingual members of the Jacksonville community with students enrolled in the course SPN 3351: Communication and Communities for Heritage Speakers of Spanish. Department of Art, Art History, and Design: Curates the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery, whose mission is in part to promote dialogue that addresses social issues. The current exhibition is “Watershed” by Jeff Rich, which helps to shine a light on landscapes that have been affected by man-made structures in natural waterways. The Machin Distinguished Lecture Series is an annual lecture series brings scholars to the university to provide insight into unique intercultural topics. The 2019 lecture was given by Dr. Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at UNC Chapel Hill. Brooks College of Health: In the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program, a primary component of the Counseling Diverse Populations course requires students to engage with people who are culturally different from them. The purpose is for students to develop a deeper understanding and respect for these differences and incorporate this learning into their clinical practice. The CMHC program requires students to immerse themselves in a minimum of three different cultural experiences throughout the course of the semester – each with a different level of engagement. The CMHC program also relies on relationships within the University to expose students to different cultures. One such relationship is with the College of Education and Human Services American Sign Language and Interpreting program wherein students immerse themselves with deaf community members and interpreters to provide mock counseling services. General Education Program: This university-wide curricular program requires students to take at least one course that focuses on Diversity and Difference. Department of Anthropology: Rosa De Jorio organizes service activities (particularly in ANT 4444: Cities and Globalization but also through Directed Independent Studies) that create opportunities for students to volunteer with refugees and low-income populations in Jacksonville. Over the years, several of her students have participated in after-school and language programs organized by refugee resettlement programs such as World Relief, Lutheran Services, and Catholic Charities. Anne Pfister’s Observations through Photovoice Project encourages Introduction to Anthropology students to think about their own cultural milieus as well as how to talk about the ways that cultural contexts affect our socialization and worldviews. Keith Ashley conducts an annual archaeological field school that is designed to research and promote indigenous histories and cultures of what is today northeastern Florida. The Archaeology Lab often works with National and State Parks and local municipalities in consultation with Florida’s Federally Recognized Tribes to manage and project the region’s valuable cultural resources in the face of burgeoning development. MEd in Elementary Education with TESOL: This graduate program is guided by a focus on international Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Preparation for both students locally and internationally to teach English is central to the entire program. - Initiatives/Centers - Embroidering for Peace and Memory Project: An annual, campus-wide initiative that is also part of UNF’s celebration of Women’s History Month. Students participate in a collective experience involving the use of textiles that fosters awareness about local, grassroots practices from around the globe (see: Intercultural Center for Peace (see: This university-wide center “promotes student learning and development through purposeful programming with different cultural groups and departments on campus. ICP strives to bridge the cultural divide between all individuals at the university and the local community to enhance multicultural sensitivity and strengthen cultural competence.” SUSTAINABILITY - Academic Programs/Units - Biology Department: Offers students the opportunity to learn about coastal resilience and sustainability issues through the curricular Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship Program. Also administers the 15-credit minor program in Environmental Studies. Interdisciplinary Studies: Provides students with an interdisciplinary major program focused on sustainability. Minor in Environmental Studies: Housed in the Brooks College of Health and coordinated by the Environmental Center, the Minor in Environmental Studies asks students to learn sustainable practices and to promote them widely. Brooks College of Health: Offers students a 15-credit minor program in Food Systems and Sustainability. Department of Art, Art History, and Design: The Pre[serve] Juried Art Annual is open to all UNF students and alumni, and features works inspired by the Sawmill Slough Preserve, a 382-acre nature preserve located on UNF's campus. The Preserve has been a focal point of campus life since the University's founding, and students have played an integral role in its preservation. Hicks Honors College: Emphasizes sustainability in one of its first-year programs, and in its call for students to participate as UN Millennium Fellows. Initiatives/Centers UNF Environmental Center: Sponsors the Jacksonville Environmental Symposium, an annual event attracting hundreds of local and regional organizations gathered to discuss best practices in sustainability. Offers Seed Grants, which are externally funded grants designed to provide financial support for faculty working on environmental and sustainability issues. Organizes and funds the Environmental Center Leadership Program (ECLP), a co-curricular, merit-based scholarship program that was launched in Spring 2016 to cultivate a pipeline of environmental leaders in the region. During their time in the ECLP, student project leaders work with community partner(s), UNF faculty, and the program’s coordinator to create and implement a community project that addresses an environmental and/or social injustice issue. These projects range from eliminating food waste and food deserts to educating school children about the impacts of microplastics and other plastics pollution. Ogier Gardens: An on-campus organic/sustainable garden featuring rain catchment, agroecology, and sustainable agriculture concepts that also functions as an outdoor learning center. Students from the Ogier Gardens collect food waste from dining services and compost that waste for use at the garden. Physical Facilities: UNF is committed to building LEED-certified buildings. The university has the most square footage of LEED-certified buildings in NE Florida. Additional Physical Facilities Initiatives focused on enhancing campus sustainability include LED lighting in all campus parking lots and roadways; LED retrofit project ongoing in campus buildings; water saving initiatives such as dynamic metering and monitoring of campus buildings to quickly identify and repair domestic water leaks in campus buildings; dynamic scheduling of HVAC controls to coincide with class schedules; ongoing retro-commissioning of campus HVAC systems, building envelope, and building systems to optimize building performance and to identify energy savings opportunity; and employs a full-time campus energy manager charged with maximizing UNF’s energy efficiency. Sustainability Committee: This university-wide committee features appointed representatives (students, faculty, and staff) dedicated to advancing campus sustainability (see: Meals on Wings: In Duval County alone, over 1000 seniors who are eligible for Meals on Wheels are on a waitlist due to funding shortages. The Meals on Wings program offers a solution for some of those seniors. The Meals on Wings program recovers food that would normally be wasted from Baptist Medical Centers and Brooks Rehabilitation Centers and repackages the food into healthful meals. The meals are then delivered to seniors on the waitlist for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wings uses student volunteers to recover food, prepare the meals and deliver to the seniors. In just over 1 year, the program has recovered over 10,000 lbs. of food and provided over 5000 meals to homebound seniors. Three-month evaluation has demonstrated significant improvements in the seniors’ nutritional status, nutrient intake, food security level, loneliness and well-being. - Student Organizations - Food Fighters: Students recover unserved food from university dining facilities and repackage that food into meals that are distributed via community partners. Organizations receiving meals include Northeast Florida AIDS Network, Sulzbacher Center, Lutheran Social Services, UNF Lend-A-Wing Food Pantry and Mission House. In just over 2 years, Food Fighters has recovered close to 20,000 lbs. of food and provided close to 20,000 meals to community members in need. Environmentally, this translates into 9,239 lbs. of CO2 saved per year. University Innovation Fellows: A group of students selected on a competitive basis as part of a worldwide effort launched by Stanford University to promote campus innovation and entrepreneurship. For the current academic year, this inaugural group of Fellows is focusing on generating awareness about and inspiring action on sustainability on campus. - Recognition - UNF Osprey Café: In 2018, UNF Dining Services' Osprey Café, UNF's multi-level dining facility, was named a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association, a national nonprofit organization helping restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable.