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Distinguished Professor 2009-2010
David Fenner

David Fenner

David Fenner -- Professor of Philosophy, Senior Fellow in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Center for Ethics, Public Policy, and the Professions, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences -- joined UNF as a visiting assistant professor in 1992. In 1995-96 he was moved to a tenure track line but spent that year at the University of St Andrews (Scotland) on a post-doc funded by the Ford Foundation. In 2001 he earned tenure; in 2008 he was promoted to professor. He served as interim chair of the Philosophy Department and as dean of the Graduate School.

Fenner has taught 27 different courses – primarily Gen Ed philosophy, theoretical and applied aesthetics, theoretical and applied ethics, and metaphysics. He has served on over 30 dissertation committees as well as several masters and undergraduate thesis committees. In 1996 he received a teaching award and in 2001 was named a “UNF Students’ Choice Professor.” He is an honorary member of Golden Key and a member of Phi Kappa Phi.

Fenner’s scholarship concerns the nature of aesthetic/art experience; recently it has focused on environmental aesthetics, theories about the value of art, and the subjective character of the art experience. Fenner has written or edited five books – Ethics and the Arts (1995), The Aesthetic Attitude (1996), Ethics in Education (1999), Introducing Aesthetics (2003), and Art in Context (2008) – over 30 peer-refereed journal articles, and over 40 other pieces, including many on ecological ethics in the Global Underwater Explorer’s magazine Quest.

Beyond normal university and disciplinary "citizenship," Fenner’s service has focused on diversity and on environmental ethics. He recently served as chair of the Diversity Task Force and, since 2004, as a member of the Women’s Center board. For seven years he served as faculty advisor for the Sawmill Slough Conservation Club; for six he hosted the Earth Kinship Conference and more recently a conference on “Ethical Aspects of Urban Development in Northeast Florida.” He served on the boards of Tree Hill Nature Center and the Environmental Education Resource Council of Northeast Florida (as well as the Global Leaf Charter School and St. Andrew's Episcopal Day School boards) and as a Florida Department of Environmental Protection consultant. He has given over 40 community talks.