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Office of the Provost

Provost Communication


All Faculty

November 19, 2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Gordon F. M. Rakita, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, as Interim Associate Vice President for Faculty Development (AVP-FD). During his 17-year history at UNF, Dr. Rakita has consistently demonstrated the highest achievements in teaching, research, and service.

The AVP-FD is an executive officer role held by a master teacher and senior scholar whose primary mission is to envision, plan, and build upon the extant Office of Faculty Enhancement (OFE) in ways that will more effectively support the vibrant professional development of UNF faculty at all career stages. The AVP-FD and administrative staff work collaboratively with CIRT, CCBL, the Office of Assessment, ORSP, the Faculty Association (particularly the Faculty Enhancement Committee), deans, chairs, and others across the university community to implement this mission. In addition, the AVP-FD oversees the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR).

I am, therefore, also very pleased to announce that the directorship held by Dr. Karen Cousins has been revised to encompass both Faculty Enhancement (OFE) and Undergraduate Research (OUR), the two units currently comprising the purview of the AVP-FD. Dr. Cousins, an academic with deep administrative expertise, will function in an operations officer role. Her organizational and management responsibilities will span both offices, linking and integrating them under the Faculty Development umbrella in support of faculty and faculty-mentored undergraduate researchers.

President Szymanski and I thank you for your ongoing commitment to our students, to each other, and to UNF. We recognize the challenges inherent in our current climate of remote learning and budget constraints, but also the unexpected rewards and opportunities you have shared in our ongoing conversations over the past several months. We remain committed to supporting you in every possible way. We know that Dr. Rakita and Dr. Cousins share this same commitment.

Warm regards,

dr. patterson signature

Karen Patterson

Interim Provost