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University Center building exterior

About Adam W. Herbert

A photo of former UNF President Adam W. Herbert

This building is dedicated to Adam W. Herbert, an outstanding educator and inspirational leader who was the third president of the University of North Florida from 1989 to 1998.

During his tenure, Dr. Herbert increased enrollment, enhanced academic quality, greatly expanded the campus, fostered a caring and nurturing learning environment and built lasting bridges to the community. One such bridge included securing the funding and overseeing the design and construction of this conference center open to the University, the community and area businesses.


UNF experienced unprecedented growth under Dr. Herbert’s leadership, exceeding the 10,000-student level in 1995. He also fostered community partnerships resulting in a significant increase in private funding to supplement state appropriations.


During his time as UNF president, he was chairman of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of NFL Now, a successful community initiative to bring a National Football League team to Jacksonville.


Following his UNF service, he was named chancellor of the State University System of Florida, the second-largest university system in America.


Returning back to UNF in 2000, Dr. Herbert became the founding executive director of The Florida Center for Public Policy and Leadership. The center was a manifestation of Dr. Herbert’s longstanding interest in public service. Early in his career, he was selected as one of 15 White House Fellows and served as special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. He also was special assistant to the U.S. Undersecretary of Housing and Urban Development and director of research for the Joint Center for Political Studies in Washington, D.C.


In 2003, Dr. Herbert was selected as the 16th president of Indiana University, leading the eight-campus system until 2007.


When Dr. Herbert retired, he and his wife Karen returned to Jacksonville.