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President Szymanski at the podium and Uniquely UNF logo

President David M. Szymanski

President Szymanski headshotDr. David M. Szymanski is the sixth president of the University of North Florida. He joined UNF in the summer of 2018 and was inaugurated in February 2019.


Committed to student success, President Szymanski has spearheaded initiatives to ensure that all students have the resources they need to succeed, on campus and after they graduate. This includes boosting programs to enhance student wellness and to provide students with opportunities to gain leadership experience and engage in the community.


President Szymanski recognizes the vital role that UNF plays in the region as the top source of talent and innovation for area businesses. He has worked to build partnerships to advance academic excellence at UNF, ensuring that students not only learn on campus but have abundant and meaningful real-world opportunities outside of the classroom to gain experience in their fields.


A new Strategic Plan for the University was commissioned by President Szymanski and approved by the Florida Board of Governors in January 2020. The ambitious plan aims to creatively build on UNF’s current successes while expanding partnerships, enhancing research and development, and creating rigorous programs that give UNF students an even greater competitive advantage.


Before joining UNF, President Szymanski served as dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. During his tenure, enrollment in the business college grew significantly, as did retention and graduation rates. Prior to his time at UC, he 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.