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Dr. Szymanski headshot

President David M. Szymanski

David M. Szymanski became the University of North Florida's sixth president in spring 2018. Committed to excellence and innovation, Szymanski believes in leading with respect and recognizes the value of partnerships in moving the University forward.

Szymanski oversees a campus of six colleges with nearly 16,500 students, 568 full-time faculty members and over 1,200 staff. The University’s annual economic impact on the region is more than $1 billion. The scenic 1,381-acre campus in Jacksonville, Florida includes a nature preserve, lakes for kayaking and canoeing and miles of hiking trails. Another 1,050 acres of pristine wetlands on the Intracoastal Waterway are owned by UNF and used for research. 

Under Szymanski's leadership, the University of North Florida maintains a commitment that students are always the first priority. Dedicated to individualized educational experiences, UNF offers students life-changing transformational learning opportunities including research with faculty, study abroad, internships and other real-world experiences, and impactful community projects. 


Before joining UNF, Szymanski served as the dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. Under his tenure as dean, enrollment in the business college grew significantly, as did retention and graduation rates. He spearheaded the PACE program focusing on the continual development of each student’s professionalism, academics, character and engagement. Szymanski led curriculum changes for undergraduate and graduate students and revised the MBA program to be more flexible for professional and time-constrained students, becoming a top national program.

Prior to his time at UC, Szymanski was the director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University where he was also a professor of marketing. He has served on a number of corporate and professional boards, including several NCAA boards and committees. He currently sits on the board of directors of Office Depot. 


Szymanski earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics at the University of North Carolina Asheville, a Master of Arts in economics at Vanderbilt University, as well as a Master of Business Administration and Ph.D., both in marketing, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Szymanski and his wife, Maria, have three children and one grandchild.