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Jo Ellen Mobley

 Jo Ellen Mobley headshot

Jo Ellen Mobley is one of a few remaining faculty and staff who actually started working for the University before the doors opened on Oct. 2, 1972. Mobley was hired in November 1970 as a secretary IV in the dean's office in the College of Education. The University was located in the Florida Chamber of Commerce Building on the Arlington Expressway.


"I thought it would be exciting to be in on the beginning of a university. I believe I was the 33rd employee to be hired," said Mobley, who was promoted to staff assistant II in the Office of Academic Affairs in December 1977. She was later promoted to executive secretary in 1986 in the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. She transferred to her current position in the Center for Experiential Learning and Testing in Student Affairs in 1988.


Originally from Acworth, Ga., Mobley worked as a secretary at the Life Insurance Company of Georgia in Atlanta. After moving to Jacksonville, she worked for the Gulf Life Insurance Company for five years before deciding to take a chance on UNF.


As she recalls the start of her career here and the development of the University, Mobley said that she has many wonderful memories: the hiring of department chairs and faculty members in 1971; initial notification of accreditation from the Southern Assoc Association of Colleges and Schools which was very important to UNF at the time; when UNF began accepting freshman in 1984 and sophomore level classes of students in 1985, thus becoming a four-year university. One of the more memorable challenges involved the preparation of the first College of Education curriculum for approval by the Board of Regents in 1971 "before computers and white out," Mobley said.


In her current position, she enjoys direct involvement with students and employers through the Cooperative Education Program. She also works closely with students who take the Graduate Records Exam, the Nursing Mobility Profile II exam, National Counselors exam and correspondence exams.