Richard Crosby has seen many things happen at UNF since he arrived 25 years ago, but nothing rivals the experience he had in July of 1995 when the power went out on campus.
No one knew that the lightning strike on July 7 would devastate the University's underground electric distribution system and result in classes being canceled for four days. "I can't recall that we ever went through an emergency of that nature before," he says.
Crosby was in the middle of the disaster as acting chairman of the University's Crisis Management Team. Through a team effort and many sleepless nights, the campus was eventually restored to power giving the University its first real chance to use the crisis management plan. By all accounts, the team worked smoothly in no small part because of Crosby's calm and deliberate demeanor. "That was probably my most memorable experience at UNF because of my personal intervention in the situation."
During calmer times, Crosby is responsible for much more than just the physical plant. As assistant vice president for Administration and Finance, Crosby also oversees the Police Department, Communication Services, Environmental Health and Safety and is the budget officer for Administration and Finance. That's in addition to being chairman of Computing Services, the University Technology team and the recently formed Web Page Development Committee.
Crosby's broad responsibilities stem in part from his broad base of experience at UNF. When he started in 1972, he was a systems analyst in Computing Services. He later became a supervisor and assistant director there before becoming assistant director of Planning and Analysis in 1978. In 1981, he became director of Institutional Research and Data Administrator, a position he held until 1985 when he became an assistant vice president.
Much of Crosby's life has been spent in higher education. When he was a junior in high school, he began working for the physical plant department at St. Johns River Community College and has been working in higher education in one capacity or another for more than 30 years. He came to UNF after graduating from the University of West Florida in 1972. "I guess I just enjoy being in a university environment," Crosby says explaining his long tenure.