President David M. Szymanski
David M. Szymanski, Ph.D. was appointed the sixth president of the University of North Florida by the University’s Board of Trustees. Following approval from the Florida Board of Governors, he officially began his presidency in the summer of 2018 and was inaugurated in February 2019.
Committed to leading with respect, President Szymanski has worked to boost programs to improve both student wellness and student success. Creating a “seamless classroom” has been one of his top priorities — ensuring that UNF students are not only learning on campus but have abundant and meaningful hands-on opportunities in the community to acquire knowledge and experience in their fields of study.
Recognizing the vital role that the University of North Florida plays in the region, President Szymanski sees UNF students as uniquely positioned to be the top source of talent and innovation for area businesses. He believes UNF is producing the next generation of difference makers for Northeast Florida and beyond. He has worked to build and strengthen partnerships that advance UNF’s academic excellence while moving both the University and the region forward.
Before joining UNF, President Szymanski served as the dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. Under his tenure, enrollment in the business college grew significantly, as did retention and graduation rates. He spearheaded the PACE program, focused on the continual development of each student’s professionalism, academics, character and engagement. He also revised the MBA program to be more flexible for professional and time-constrained students, becoming a top national program.
Prior to his time at UC, President Szymanski was the director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University where he was a professor of marketing.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics at the University of North Carolina Asheville, a Master of Arts in economics at Vanderbilt University, as well as a Master of Business Administration and Ph.D., both in marketing, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
President Szymanski and his wife, Maria, have a son, two daughters and a granddaughter.