The Florida Board of Governors confirmed the selection of Dr. David Szymanski as UNF’s sixth president today during its regular BOG meeting on campus. He will begin Thursday, May 31.
Szymanski is currently the dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business and professor of marketing at the University of Cincinnati, which has a campus of more than 44,000 students. Under his leadership as Lindner dean, enrollment in the business college has grown some 50 percent for undergraduate and nearly 200 percent for graduate students, with first-year retention rates as high as 93 percent and six-year graduation rates increasing 1,000 basis points to 71 percent.
During his eight years at UC, Szymanski has also led curriculum changes for undergraduate and graduate students, revising the MBA to be more flexible for the professional and time-constrained student. New masters and doctoral degrees in demand by students and businesses have been added in addition to new graduate certificate programs. Additionally, the College launched new online courses and degree programs.
Lindner’s MBA program has gone from being unranked to now being a Top 35 full-time and Top 25 part-time public program by Bloomberg Businessweek. In addition, the College now has Top 25 master’s programs in accounting, analytics, applied economics, finance, marketing and tax as well as Top 10 undergraduate programs in accounting, marketing and microeconomics.
With Szymanski’s guidance, Lindner is now the most profitable college at UC, generating 81 percent of the net operating profit on the academic side of the enterprise. He has helped raise more than $70M, and in fiscal year 2017, the College raised more than $20M, making it the first academic unit in the university’s history to break the $20M threshold.
Prior to joining UC, he was the director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University. Szymanski has served on a number of corporate and professional boards, including several NCAA boards/committees and currently sits on the board of directors of Office Depot. He earned his doctorate and MBA, both with a marketing emphasis, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Szymanski will succeed John A. Delaney, who has served as UNF president for the last 15 years. He retires as University president Thursday, May 31. In addition to Delaney, UNF has had four other permanent presidents, including founding president Dr. Thomas Carpenter (1969-1980), Dr. Curtis McCray (1982-1988), Dr. Adam Herbert (1989-1998) and Dr. Anne Hopkins (1999-2000).