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Office of the Provost

Provost Communication

All Faculty, Deans and Directors
September 23, 2020

When President David Szymanski asked me to be UNF’s interim provost, I was delighted and humbled. As a person who is rarely impulsive, I also reflected. Simon Rhodes left big shoes to fill despite his brief time with us, and to think of being provost in a pandemic, during a time of economic uncertainty and social unrest – in a polarized election year, no less – is a little daunting. But I recognized that the President and I share common goals for the university, and for our community of students, faculty, and staff. We have similar values of personal integrity and honesty, and we both insist on building professional relationships based upon respect, trust, and transparency. Thus, my choice was clear. With the president’s support, and yours, I am privileged to step into a new position as interim provost and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs on October 1. 

I have been a part of UNF for 21 years, from the time I first arrived as an adjunct instructor in the College of Education and Human Services. I have navigated through the academic ranks of visiting instructor, assistant, associate, and full professor, and through administrative roles as program director, department chair, dean, and associate vice president. My research and scholarship in positive interventions for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and those at-risk for failure have been conducted from my professional home at UNF. I have served on countless committees, and participated in more events, orientations, workshops, and presentations than I can remember. I am deeply embedded in and committed to this university. I am committed to your success. 

We all recognize that we have known and unknown challenges ahead. But we also understand that challenges can result in opportunity. I am eager to collaborate with you to recognize and act upon those opportunities, continue the vision we share for student success and develop an even more vibrant community of scholars. I am confident that, working together, UNF will continue to grow better and stronger. 


dr. patterson signatureKaren Patterson