candidate search through zoom

Written Question

Now that we have realized the cost savings of conducting searches with Zoom rather than having candidates on campus (involving costs of time and money), can we use Zoom as our future model for searches?

Answered by Dr. Karen Patterson, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affair

Dr. Patterson answered in advance that Zoom is a good resource but noted that face-to-face meetings are essential as part of such huge decisions and they allow faculty and prospective hires to make good choices. Costs should be considered, but the intangibles aren’t always accessible via Zoom.

Data Analytics Recent Announcement

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: David Fenner, Faculty Association President

The recent announcement of an internal search for a Vice President of Data Analytics made me look up the definition of Analytics on the web. It says that it is “the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. It relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance”. In that definition, the word statistics comes first because statisticians are professionally trained to interpret and communicate data.  The previous administration had enlisted statistics professors to help precisely because the data analytics people came short in that. This year BOG Performance Metrics indicate that effort paid off with 10 points increase in the score over the year before. Why doesn’t the position announcement underscore the importance of a PhD statistician?

President Szymanski’s response copied from his report. 

The Vice President for Analytics search is ongoing. Finalists will be interviewed during the second week of October. The President addressed an anonymous question about whether or not candidates could or should have a PhD in statistics. The President stated that while that was one acceptable degree, there were finalists with other backgrounds as well.

Provost Search

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: John Delaney, President

Can you ask the president the status of the Provost Search and why it is taking so long? I heard by the grapevine that one candidate was the unanimous choice and it seems that it should be quicker.

Response from UNF President, John Delaney:

Responding to the anonymous question asked at the Faculty Association and correspondence from search committee members, I wanted to give you an update on the provost search.

Due to the nature of campus searches, the President of UNF is at arm’s length from the search while it is ongoing. This is particularly so in the case of a provost search, where heavy faculty involvement and diminished presidential involvement are mandated by the UNF Constitution.

While the committee has lived this for over a year, I have not. I need to get more people’s take on Carl, and to get to know the guy better. While I truly appreciate the counsel that the committee has passed on to me, I have to catch up on my own due diligence. I recognize that there  is an eagerness to make a decision quickly. But I have never regretted being deliberative over a big decision. I have long told my kids that there is always another house, car, and boyfriend/girlfriend if the salesperson is pushing for an immediate decision!

As such, last month before the break and since, I have been talking one-on-one with various campus stakeholders in advance of calling Carl to sort out any issues or concerns that these individuals have raised.

Provost Search Status

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: John Delaney, UNF President

  1. What is the status of the Provost search?
  2. Given that the faculty have selected those to serve on this committee, when will the President appoint the additional members?
  3. When will the Presidential appointees to this committee be known to the faculty?
  4. When will the chair of the search committee be appointed and, thus, know to the faculty?
  5. When will the advertisement be placed for the position?
  6. Where will this advertisement for this position be placed?
  7. What timetable does the President have in mind for the eventual appointment of the Provost?


Written response from Dr. Thomas Serwatka, Vice President & Chief of Staff to the President:

I apologize for taking so long to contact you all about the provost search committee. When John asked me to chair the committee we didn’t know that I was going to go through a series of testing, surgery, recovery and all of the things that happen to the occasional old man. But I am back and ready to get the search process started.


We would like to pull the committee together for a lunch meeting on Friday, October 11, starting at 12:00. You will get an e-vite for the meeting with the details. Please respond, so we know how many lunches to order.

John will be joining us for the first part of the meeting.

I look forward to working with you all on this task. It ought to be interesting to see how we, along with the rest of the faculty, define the qualifications for the position and how we structure the process.


We will have one other person joining us – a student representative.