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Faculty Handbook Chapter 1: University History, Vision, Mission, and Values

1.1 History

The University of North Florida (University or UNF) is one of eleven public colleges and universities in Florida. It is a comprehensive, urban university which offers degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. UNF was authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1965, opened in 1972 as an upper division (junior and senior) and graduate institution with a 2,000-member student body, and received legislative authorization in 1983 to begin lower division offerings in the 1984-85 academic year. In 1990 the University opened a doctoral program in educational leadership.


Thomas G. Carpenter became the first president of UNF in 1969 and served until 1979. He was followed by Interim President Andrew A. Robinson, 1980-82. Curtis L. McCray was president from 1982-89 followed by Adam W. Herbert in 1989. When President Herbert left to become Chancellor of the State University System in 1998, E. K. Fretwell served as interim president until Anne H. Hopkins was appointed December 1998. Former Provost and Vice President A. David Kline became interim president in 2002 and served until John A. Delaney was appointed the fifth permanent president July 2003.


Since its founding, UNF has demonstrated its continuing commitment to excellence in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and public service, with an emphasis on high-quality instruction. Members of the faculty simultaneously engage in and produce a level of creative scholarship that demonstrates a determination to remain at the cutting edge of intellectual inquiry and practice in their respective disciplines. Through its centers and institutes, lecture series, continuing education programs, and staff volunteer activities, UNF contributes to the life of the academic community, the First Coast region, and Florida.


The University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of North Florida. Individual contact to the Commission on Colleges about the University of North Florida accreditation status should occur only if there is evidence that appears to support significant noncompliance with a requirement or standard. Academic programs at UNF are built on a strong foundation in the traditional arts and sciences. UNF's undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through five colleges - College of Arts and Sciences, Coggin College of Business, College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, College of Education and Human Services, and Brooks College of Health. In addition to the Ed.D. offered through the College of Education and Human Services, the Brooks College of Health and the School of Nursing partnered with the University of Florida School of Nursing in 2002 to jointly offer a doctorate (Ph.D.) in nursing. Students complete nursing courses on the Jacksonville campus of the University of Florida, along with requirements for a minor in education from the COEHS at UNF. Beginning Fall 2007 the Brooks College of Health will offer the Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Doctorate in Nursing Practice degrees. Non-credit learning opportunities are also provided through the Division of Continuing Education.


The University has been strengthened significantly by its public-private partnerships. Through the strong support of the University of North Florida Foundation, Inc. and the generosity of corporate leaders and dedicated residents of Florida's First Coast region, UNF has four fully funded eminent scholar chairs: the Andrew A. Robinson, Jr. Chair in Educational Policy and Economic Development; the Ira M. Koger Chair in American Music; the Prime F. Osborn Chair in Transportation; and the Paper and Plastics Education Research Foundation Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management.


1.2 Strategic Plan

The University of North Florida has an active and continuous planning process that includes a strategic plan as required by Section 1001.74(14), Florida Statutes. The plan is anchored in the commitments established by the University of North Florida Board of Trustees. The plan also reflects the Board's conversations on issues of quality and access, the need to provide all undergraduate students with a strong liberal arts foundation, the importance of research in the life of the institution, and UNF's role in meeting state and regional needs. Additionally, the plan also addresses the goals for higher education as established by the Florida Board of Governors.


A Commitment to Our Students

At UNF, students are our first priority. The University of North Florida recognizes that every student is an individual, with different goals, different learning styles and different needs. UNF is committed to offering each student an individualized educational experience made possible by an engaged faculty and dedicated staff. UNF's commitment to individualized attention includes opportunities to participate in life-changing experiences such as internships, study abroad, on- and off-campus programs and dynamic research projects.

1.2 (1) Statement of Vision, Mission, Goals, and Values

Statement of Vision

The University of North Florida aspires to be a preeminent public institution of higher learning that will serve the North Florida region at a level of national quality. The institution of choice for a diverse and talented student body, UNF will provide distinctive programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields. UNF faculty will excel in teaching and scholarship, sharing with students their passion for discovery. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors will enjoy a campus noteworthy for its communal spirit, cultural richness, and environmental beauty.


Statement of Mission

The University of North Florida fosters the intellectual and cultural growth and civic awareness of its students, preparing them to make significant contributions to their communities in the region and beyond. At UNF, students and faculty engage together and individually in the discovery and application of knowledge. UNF faculty and staff maintain an unreserved commitment to student success within a diverse, supportive campus culture.


Institutional Values

The University of North Florida is committed to values that promote the welfare and positive transformation of individuals, communities, and societies. We value:

  • the pursuit of truth and knowledge carried out in the spirit of intellectual andartistic freedom;
  • ethical conduct;
  • community engagement;
  • diversity;
  • responsibility to the natural environment; and
  • mutual respect and civility.

Institutional Goals

  1. Cultivate a learning environment that supports intellectual curiosity, academic achievement, and personal growth.
  2. Recruit and support a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff who will contribute to and benefit from the university's mission.
  3. Support and recognize research and creative endeavor as essential university functions.
  4. Affirm the university's public responsibility through civic engagement and community-based learning and research.
  5. Secure fiscal, physical, and technological resources aligned with the university's mission and values.

1.2 (2) Statement of Purpose

The University of North Florida is one of eleven publicly assisted institutions in Florida. Located in Jacksonville, this comprehensive urban university primarily serves Florida residents, especially those of the state's northeastern region. At the same time, UNF serves an increasing number of students from across and beyond the nation.


In fulfilling its mission, UNF cultivates a learning environment that supports intellectual curiosity, academic achievement, and personal growth. This goal is supported by a strong academic curriculum comprised of 53 undergraduate, 27 masters, and 3 doctoral degree programs in the liberal arts and professional fields. These degree programs prepare UNF graduates to make vital contributions within their fields of study and to their respective communities. UNF proudly points to the fact that a growing number of its degree programs have been recognized nationally.


The University of North Florida seeks to recruit and support a diverse and talented student body of men and women who have demonstrated the capacity to excel in college. While enrolled in the University, UNF students are encouraged to work directly with faculty mentors and to participate in various transformational learning opportunities including international travel, community-based internships, faculty and student-initiated research, and other similarly enriching experiences.


Support Services

The University's caring environment fosters excellence in instructional, administrative, and student support services. This environment is dependent upon the strength and competence of UNF's employees, who consistently demonstrate a caring and respectful attitude toward others. The focused attention provided by these employees helps to ensure that students maintain uninterrupted university attendance, make suitable course selections, successfully complete degree requirements, and achieve timely graduation or successful accomplishment of other academically related career goals.