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UNF Lead

Program Overview

UNF Lead is a 9-month (September-May) leadership development program dedicated to the preparation of UNF faculty and staff, especially women and those from underrepresented groups, for positions of leadership and opportunities for advancement at the University. This program is designed to develop and retain a diverse pool of talent to lead the institution into the future. UNF Lead is jointly administered by Academic and Student Affairs and the Commission on Diversity & Inclusion.


Applications for Cohort 2021 is closed - Applications will be open for Cohort 2022 in May 2021

Cohort 2021 members notified: July 27-31

Workshops and activities for Cohort 2021: Sept. 2020 - May 2021


UNF Lead seeks to address the need for institutional leadership succession planning and for increasing diversity among administrative ranks. Currently, on the University of North Florida's campus, only limited numbers of women and persons from historically underrepresented groups are employed among the ranks of mid-level and upper administration. This program directly addresses our strategic plan goals to "develop our faculty and staff" and to "promote an inclusive campus climate."


UNF Lead is designed for mid-career faculty and staff identified as emerging and established leaders seeking leadership and advancement opportunities or professional development to enhance their current roles. Program participants will be guided through a curriculum designed to assist them with transitioning into leadership positions, while engaged in their current professional lives. Participants will also have the opportunity to identify, plan, and implement a capstone project that responds to an identified need of their department, the UNF campus or the northeast Florida community. Further, the program will build contact networks among our UNF faculty and staff across the University. Selected participants should expect to attend a full day of sessions and activities once a month from September 2020 through May 2021. If feasible, the cohort will travel to Tallahassee (overnight stay) in March to observe a legislative session. Please note, due to the pandemic, some or all of these sessions may be conducted remotely.


Faculty and staff who seek advancement opportunities or who wish to improve their leadership skills may apply. Applications from women and those from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. Candidates will need the support of their supervisor and funding from their department or unit. The advisory board will select a cohort of at least 20 individuals, keeping in mind the value of obtaining a diverse group of faculty and staff.

  • Staff criteria:

    Assistant Director or above, or comparable position within the unit, with at least 2 years of experience at UNF


  • Faculty criteria:

    Lecturer or Instructor or above with at least 5 years of experience at UNF

    Associate University Librarian with at least 5 years of experience at UNF or University Librarian with at last 2 years of experience at UNF

    Assistant Professor (post-dossier submission) with at least 5 years of experience at UNF

    Associate Professor or Professor, with at least 2 years of experience at UNF


Participants will engage in a curriculum that will prepare them to step into and/or create leadership opportunities in their units and beyond. Curricular subject areas will include: the contemporary higher education environment, self-assessment, planning and leading change, managing strategic resources, diversity and cultural competency, higher education finance, navigating organizational structure/culture, conflict management and negotiation, and ethical leadership, among others.


The cost of the program to the unit is $250, which covers food and printed materials. Academic Affairs Administration will fund the remaining expenses such as speakers and travel.

Application Process

Note: Applications for Cohort 2021 are not longer being accepted.
Applicants must provide an idea of a specific project on which they hope to work. While this idea does not have to be fully developed, there should be some attempt in the online application to discuss a project idea that could come to fruition through the gains acquired from the program.


The application requires the following:

  1. Idea for a project that relates to the applicant's current work and/or ties to UNF's mission or strategic plan (submitted in the application)
  2. Candidate statement (maximum two pages) uploaded in the application
  3. Applicant's current CV or resume (maximum five pages) uploaded in the application.
  4. Letter of support from the applicant's immediate supervisor, chair or dean (emailed to by the established deadline. The letter should include:
    1. Acknowledgement of the unit's ability to fund the applicant's participation
    2. Approval for the individual to attend full-day program activities once per month, including the possibility of a two-day trip to Tallahassee in March