Dean Privett Pic
Park D. (Dean) Privett Jr.
UNF Degree: B.S. (Mathematical Science) – ’76
Employment: President, Privett & Associates of Florida Inc.

Privett pursues high-speed career and hobby

 What has 1,000 horsepower and goes from zero to 80 in 1.1 seconds? A dragster with Dean Privett Jr. at the wheel.


Privett likes to go fast and his surveying career in Florida and Georgia has progressed almost as fast as he travels down drag tracks throughout the region.


Privett attended UNF before there was an engineering program, so he took nearly every math course offered at the time. “I discovered math is a universal language. The extensive education in mathematics I received at UNF gave me an insight into how to deal with particular problems relating to surveying.”


He credits Dr. Bill Caldwell with much of that insight. “He was very interested in students and took whatever time was needed to get the light bulb to come on.” Privett graduated in 1976 but consulted with Caldwell after graduation on some of his first surveying projects. “There was some high power math needed on those jobs.”


Those projects included some of the most notable landmarks in the region. Privett is the president of Privett & Associates of Florida based in Jacksonville and Privett-Bennett & Associates based in St. Marys, Ga. The two firms have handled surveying work for such projects as Kings Bay Submarine Base in St. Marys and the Hodges tract in Jacksonville.


His work within the 14,000-acre Hodges tract included not only surveying for Kernan and Hodges boulevards but also work on Glen-Kernan Golf & Country Club. Some of the Hodges tract was eventually donated to the state of Florida for development of UNF. Outside the Hodges tract, Privett has been involved with the surveying for many metro housing developments including Hampton Park, Bartram Park and Palencia.

Working in the two states has given Privett a unique perspective. “Georgia is about 10 years behind Florida in development. It’s been the closest thing in my life to having a crystal ball when I worked on committees up there (Georgia).


He also enjoys working on committees in Jacksonville, such as the Subdivision Standards and Policy Advisory Committee. He sees Jacksonville’s development as being “sensible” compared to other cities such as Orlando where he was involved in the surveying of Disney World.


Privett attributes his success directly to UNF. The success also played a role in the selection of UNF by his son, Buck, who graduated in ’06 with a degree in civil engineering. “We felt UNF was best for him. I was very impressed with the engineering program that has been established.”

When not surveying the landscape, Privett loves to cross the landscape in a blur. As a drag racer he has driven in competitions in Memphis, Atlanta and West Palm Beach. With the exception of a minor off-track fender-bender, he has driven accident free. “I’ve been able to keep it off the wall for the last 13 years.”


Privett is proud of his hobby and his profession while maintaining a strong curiosity in the world around him. In that respect he says he is glad UNF has such strong academic programs in order to “develop more curiosity in our younger generation.”