||John Delaney came to the University of North Florida as the fifth president, after serving two terms as the mayor of Jacksonville. He is the longest-serving president at UNF, to date.
During Delaney's presidency, there were huge improvements to the University's academic programs and the quality of students who graduated from UNF. At the end of Delaney's tenure, UNF was the third most competitive among Florida public universities, and the University topped the schools in the State University System when it came to graduates being employed in Florida. Delaney created a student-focused campus. He led a transition to NCAA Division I athletics and he transformed UNF into a traditional college setting. He also created programs and services to assist special populations including the LGBT Resource Center, the Military and Veterans Resource Center and the Disability Resource Center.
Under Delaney's leadership, the University's campus experienced the biggest expansion in its history. The building space increased by 168 percent and the campus size increased by 116 percent. As the University's chief fundraiser, Delaney more than doubled the privately funded endowment. He led the most successful capital campaign in Northeast Florida which exceeded its goal, raising more than $130 million for the University. Delaney also dramatically increased UNF's regional and national recognition. Under his leadership, the University received the prestigious Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation. And, in 2012, the University played host to the CNN Presidential Debate and this publicity boosted UNF's profile across the nation. During Delaney's tenure, the University's national ranking increased by 90 percent.
John Delaney retired from his position as president May 31, 2018.
||Dr. David M. Szymanski served as the University of North Florida’s
sixth president from 2018-2021.
to student success, President Szymanski spearheaded initiatives to advance
academic excellence at UNF.
his presidency, UNF was recognized as a nationally ranked public university by
U.S. News & World Report for the first time in its nearly 50-year history,
and also achieved dramatic and substantial growth on nearly every State
University System of Florida performance metric including retention rates,
employment rates and starting salaries for graduates. UNF’s excellence score on
the SUS performance metrics improved over 26 percent under Szymanski’s
leadership, placing UNF among the upper echelons for improved excellence among
He also advanced UNF’s research status and created UNF MedNexus,
first comprehensive, university-based medical and healthcare nexus to address
Florida’s growing and evolving healthcare needs, while providing students
with pathways to jobs. Szymanski transitioned from the UNF presidency to become
CEO and executive director of UNF MedNexus in September 2021.