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Provost's Welcome to New Faculty

Simon Rhodes headshot

Summer 2019


Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to UNF.  You are joining the university at an exciting time in its relatively brief history.  By providing vital intellectual and cultural capital to the region UNF has become firmly established as among the most significant resources of Northeast Florida.  With both the population of Jacksonville and the enrollment of UNF projected to increase well into the foreseeable future, there is a clear and exciting sense of partnership that exists between the city and the university that promises only to grow stronger as UNF pursues its vision of serving the region and the State at a level of national quality.

Your addition to our faculty represents a significant step towards fulfilling this ambition to elevate UNF to among the best universities of its kind.  Our faculty recruitment process is careful and deliberate.  We target positions in areas where we are intent upon enhancing our existing faculty strength and then we conduct national searches to find the people best qualified to work at UNF.  We exercise this care because of our commitment to our students to provide them with dedicated and talented faculty and because it is our hope and expectation that you will decide that UNF is indeed a superb institution in which to pursue your career and thus that you will spend a long time here and make UNF your own.

To those ends you can expect a great deal of support from Academic Affairs and the units which constitute it.  Academic Affairs provides robust support for scholarly and pedagogical development.  Beyond your departments and colleges you will discover several offices including the Office of Faculty Enhancement, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Center for Instruction and Research Technology that will assist you in enhancing your teaching and facilitating your scholarly and creative endeavors.  You will find opportunities to network with faculty across the university.  You will receive guidance on how best to successfully achieve tenure and promotion so that what might seem like a daunting hurdle from your current perspective will seem like a rewarding rite of passage when you succeed in achieving those distinctions five or six years from now.

I would like to extend an invitation to each of you to visit with me personally to let me know about your experience in settling in at UNF.  As in any large institution you should not be surprised if you encounter occasional challenges.  But in an institution which still functions like a congenial community, I trust we will be able to find solutions to whatever issues might arise so that you can focus your energy and attention on matters most, your success as faculty of UNF.

Congratulations and good luck.

Simon J. Rhodes

Provost and VPAA