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The University of Florida’s (UF) Board of Trustees invites nominations and applications for the position of President. Given Florida’s position as the third most populous and one of the fastest growing states in the country, and the University of Florida’s status as one of the most important institutions in the state of Florida, UF’s next President will lead one of the most important institutions in one of the most important states in the country and serve in one of the most influential and impactful positions in all of public higher education. The new President must be prepared to capitalize on UF’s incredible momentum, as demonstrated by its rapid ascent from #14 to #5 in US News & World Report’s top public university rankings within the last seven years, to lead the University to new heights. For a full list of qualities and characteristics sought in UF’s next President, please visit https://presidentsearch.ufl.edu/.
The University of Florida
Home to a diverse community dedicated to excellence in education and research and shaping a better future for Florida, the nation, and the world, the University of Florida is a component unit of the State of Florida and one of only 17 universities in the country to have the distinction of land, sea, and space grant status. The following are certain important characteristics about UF:
Association of American Universities –The State’s flagship university, it is the only Florida institution to belong to the prestigious Association of American Universities and is one of only six in the country with colleges of law, medicine, agriculture, and veterinary medicine on one central campus.
Ranking Momentum – For the fifth year in a row, UF rose in the U.S. News & World Report rankings and is now recognized as one of the Top 5 public research universities in the United States. The only public universities ranked ahead of UF are UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, and University of Virginia.
UF Health – UF Health is one of the top academic health care systems and hospitals in the southeast and consistently ranks as one of the top two health systems in Florida.
Athletics – UF is proud of its NCAA Division I Athletics program whose student-athletes have led the University to a top 10 finish in each of the last 38 years and which has earned the distinction of being only one of two programs to capture a national championship in each of the previous 13 complete seasons.
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences – Exemplifying the University’s commitment to serving the State of Florida, UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences serves as a significant thought leader and driver of the State’s $130 billion agriculture community, a critical component of Florida’s economy and the nation’s food supply.
State Support – The University benefits from unwavering support from the State of Florida which has endorsed UF’s drive to become one of the nation’s very best public research universities, including supporting those efforts with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding.
Private Support – UF also fosters a highly engaged and active philanthropic community that has led to the University’s achieving a record $700+ million in FY2022 for a total of $4+ billion in UF’S Go Greater campaign. UF is currently ranked fourth among public universities in fundraising and first in the AAU for the percentage of alumni (20%) who give back to the University.
Artificial Intelligence Initiative – UF’s partnership with NVIDIA, one of the leading computing and artificial intelligence companies in the world, and UF’s Artificial Intelligence initiative represent a signature moment in UF’s history, uniquely positioning UF to become the higher education leader in Artificial Intelligence.
South Florida Initiative – Scripps Florida, one of the world’s premier biomedical research enterprises and regarded as one of the most influential institutions in the world for its impact on innovation in addressing the world’s most pressing health concerns, is now part of UF. In addition, UF is developing a permanent graduate and professional UF campus in West Palm Beach with a focus on FinTech, Cybersecurity, and Data Analytics which will benefit UF’s engineering, law, and business programs.
Online Initiative – Ranked the number one university in the country for online learning.
Accessibility – As the University continues to climb, it remains highly accessible to students. Its sixteen colleges offer students almost 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate programs with an affordable tuition that allows more than half of the University’s graduates to leave with no student loan debt. UF’s student population of over 57,000, almost 80 percent of whom are from Florida, makes it an integral part of Gainesville, a town of approximately 141,000 residents and the University’s host city. In addition, almost every state in the nation is represented in UF’s student body and the University has a large international enrollment, approaching 4,000 international students representing more than 140 countries. UF’s freshman retention rate of 97 percent speaks to the outstanding quality of the University’s entire academic experience.
Research – As the University continues to benefit from its Faculty 500 hiring initiative, the current student-faculty ratio is 17:1, compared to 21:1 five years ago. Building upon UF’s more than $1 billion in research funding in 2022, these new talents will enhance the University’s ability to secure additional funding and provide graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to work with top scholars and researchers as part of their educational experience. The University faculty, which numbers over 6,000, has 61 funded Eminent Scholar Chair positions and 45 elections to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine or to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Present and past faculty include Pulitzer Prize winners, a pioneer in aviation engineering, a leading scholar on econometrics, three winners of NASA’s top award for research, one of the four charter members of the Solar Hall of Fame, and a winner of the Smithsonian Institution’s award for conservation.
The University President is the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Florida and reports to the University of Florida Board of Trustees (the “Board”). Subject to appropriate accountability to and governance by the Board, the President is responsible for all operations of the University, including overall leadership and management of the institution; its academic, research and healthcare enterprise; fundraising; intercollegiate athletics; the development of strategic plans; fiscal and budgetary plans and the allocation of resources. The President also has oversight responsibilities for the University’s private affiliated organizations including a foundation, research foundation, agricultural research entities, investment management company, development corporation, hospitals and healthcare entities, alumni association, and athletic association, among others.
In this role, the President will advance the University’s academic, research, and outreach efforts to maintain and enhance the strength of UF’s programs and offerings and ensure that student services and support are provided to create appropriate learning environments.
Qualities and Characteristics
Driven by extraordinary momentum, the University of Florida’s next President will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to firmly establish UF as a premier university that the state, nation, and world all look to for leadership. The next President must have the experience, vision, and commitment to lead the University in sustaining its top-tier position while ushering in UF’s next chapter as an institution with a statewide urban footprint, alongside University, state, and industry stakeholders. In particular, the most competitive candidates will demonstrate many critical leadership qualities and characteristics including:
- Serving as an educator of national stature with an earned terminal degree in their chosen academic field, demonstrated intellectual leadership, and internationally recognized research or scholarly achievements who will continue to advance the academic distinction of the University of Florida.
- The ability to embrace the current vision for the University and accelerate its upward trajectory and international prominence; the ability, fortitude, and strategic vision to take the University to the highest level with demonstrated leadership and an emphasis on increasing quality across the University.
- An established history of leading and managing change while achieving long- and short-term strategic objectives that advance the mission and goals of a university.
- The ability to inspire trust and confidence among all internal and external constituents; a track record of serving as a relationship builder who is authentic, ethical, and humble.
- Experience serving in a senior-level leadership role at a major university or other complex organization in government, business, or the nonprofit sector.
Application and Nomination Process
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applications should include a current curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via email is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name and contact information of the nominee.
In accordance with the State of Florida’s open records laws, documents and information related to applicants, will be held in confidence, with only the finalists’ identities and materials made public. Application materials should be submitted to:
Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Will Gates, Partner
Sal Venegas Jr., Partner
SP&A Executive Search
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Refer to code “UF-President” in subject line
The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.