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UNF Names Dr. Karen B. Patterson as Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Patterson headshotThe University of North Florida has named Dr. Karen B. Patterson as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. Dr. Patterson has served in the role as interim provost and vice president since Sept. 20, 2020.

As provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Dr. Patterson is responsible for overseeing an integrated academic affairs, student affairs and enrollment management structure within the University. She will further develop UNF’s robust academic offerings by working closely with the deans, faculty and entire University community through open dialogue and cross-collaboration to continue building excellent student and faculty experiences. After an internal search process, Dr. Patterson’s provost role will become effective April 17, 2021.

This position is an integral role within the president’s senior leadership team as the provost has broad responsibilities for the planning, development and administration of the college’s educational programs and services. Dr. Patterson will continue to ensure the academic integrity of the University’s six colleges and will support innovations in programs and methods of delivery that respond in a timely manner to a rapidly changing academic environment.

“Dr. Patterson has proven her ability to be a highly collaborative and outstanding leader and the University is fortunate to have her as its provost,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “She has been extremely successful in her decisive leadership and dedicated commitment to diversity, access and equity within the campus community and continues to create a highly engaging environment for our Osprey faculty, staff and students.”

Dr. Patterson currently serves as co-chair of UNF’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. She is a former chair of the Department of Exceptional, Deaf, and Interpreter Education, and is an Outstanding Teaching Award recipient.

She has been at UNF since 1999, serving in many roles including associate vice president for faculty development responsible for leading the Office of Faculty Enhancement (OFE) and dean of Undergraduate Studies and associate vice president for Faculty Resources.

In her leadership roles at UNF, Dr. Patterson has contributed her expertise and oversight to many key areas including Student Academic Success Services and Undergraduate Research. Key student success metrics in these areas at the University increased during her leadership with gains in second-year retention, four-year and six-year graduation rates.

Her research focuses on improving practices for underserved students, college students with disabilities, collaborative partnerships, and parental involvement for students at risk for failure.

Dr. Patterson received her doctorate from Kent State University.