UNF president sets his eyes on success for this year’s goals

Mallory Pace, News Editor

For the past year, University of North Florida President Moez Limayem has repeatedly voiced his appreciation for the idea of success or, more specifically, “student success.” 

On Thursday, success was a distinct theme in his goals for the 2023-2024 year which he presented to the Board of Trustees. They were approved unanimously.

Broadly, the president’s goals focus on four categories: Student Success; Faculty and Staff Success; Funding: Community Engagement.

Here’s what you need to know from each. 

Student Success

Overall, Limayem tapped in his strategic plan for the university. Namely, those are the institutional aspirations to be ranked as a Top 100 Public University and “strategically grow” to an enrollment of 25,000 students in 2028. 

To do this, it begins with student success. There are four key areas the president would like to focus on within this goal. 

First and second, Limayem would like to increase the retention of first-time college students and increase the “institutional focus” of transfer students. He’d also like to increase high impact practices for undergraduates. Some examples given are research, paid internships and experiential learning.

Lastly, he’d like to ensure that students are graduating with robust career opportunities. On the university’s side, this is to make sure that “UNF is supplying the local region and beyond with talent to meet the workforce needs.” 

Currently, the three-year average for undergraduate students doing internships for college credit is 3,570, according to Limayam’s goals. 

The president would like that number to be 3,850 from 2026-2027. He has similar numerical goals for the academic progress rate, the transfer three-year graduation rate and bachelor’s graduates being employed or enrolled.

A graph from Limayem’s presidential goals document outlining the baseline for various metrics and then the goals for those same metrics in three to four years.

Faculty and Staff Success

“It is no secret that the salaries for faculty and staff are not what they should be,” said Limayem during his presentation. “We’re still waiting for the final report, but we have started the analysis and we’re determined to do everything we can to tackle salary inversion.”

Limayem said that the 2023 Compensation Study for faculty had been completed and addressed the fact that faculty pay isn’t where it should be. 

UNF’s full-time faculty are paid the lowest among Florida’s eight R1 and R2 public universities, according to data from the American Association of University Professors.

The president also said additional work is beginning to “examine how to improve the employee’s work-life experience” which includes a space utilization study for all campus buildings.  


One of Limayem’s goals is to increase private funding to at least $30 million, a $5 million increase from last year. 

A year ago—during Limayem’s final interview before being chosen as UNF’s seventh president—one of his selling points was how well connected he was to the business and specifically fundraising world. 

“This is just a number for us, but we will work as hard as we can to raise as much money as we can,” Limayem said.  

Moez Limayem (center) gestures as he talks to the University of North Florida Board of Trustees
Moez Limayem (center) gestures as he talks to the University of North Florida Board of Trustees on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Limayem was one of four candidates looking to become the seventh University of North Florida president. (Darvin Nelson)

The university surpassed its funding goal by a million dollars, booking $26 million in the 2022-2023 year, a 23% increase over last year.  

Part of his plan also consists of creating an Office of Public Policy Events at UNF, per the recently signed bill requiring Florida public universities to annually hold four public debates of contested policy issues and creating an Office of Public Policy Events at each institution to be responsible for organizing and documenting the debates. 

Community Engagement

Limayem is focused on improving UNF’s presence in the community and will begin “badging and credentialing programs with area businesses to help address workforce needs.”

Building on his past goals to improve the university’s leadership team, a Compliance and Ethics Officer and a Dean of Enrollment Management were hired last year. 

Additional progress from the president’s past year was found in areas of visibility and reputation, including implementing strategies for the university’s social media accounts. Since July 2022, engagement on UNF’s Instagram account increased by 68%, impressions by over 400% and 6,100 new followers, according to the president’s presentation.

The president is well aware of his aspirational goals, he said, including the one to increase UNF’s enrollment to 25,000 by 2028. 

He said that a mentor once told him that “if you are in a room and you express a goal, and nobody laughs in that room, you have not been ambitious enough.”

To read Limayem’s full goals, visit here.


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