Meet the UNF Presidential Search Committee

Pierce Turner

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Cecil Holley, Bruce Taylor, Radha Pyati, Rad Lovett, Sharon Wamble-King, Wendy Link, Paul McElroy, Andres Gallo, Judith Rodriguez, Ann Hicks, Karen Patterson, Kevin Hyde, Isabella Genta, Ann Lufrano, Debbie Johnson

Clarification: the article has been changed to clarify the positions of  three members of the committee. The Spinnaker highly values accuracy and regrets the errors.  

The UNF Presidential Search Committee has begun its search for the new president of the university following John Delaney’s retirement plans. The committee had its first meeting in April and has since sent out a survey to students and faculty asking for feedback in the search.

The committee is made up of 15 members including Board of Trustees members, Foundation Board members, civic leaders and  a former Student Government president. A new president is expected to be announced by the committee in March 2018.


Kevin Hyde

The chair of the search committee, Hyde is the main man in charge of the search. He is also a lawyer, gaining his law degree from the University of Florida in 1988. This isn’t his first time holding a chair position. Hyde serves as the vice chair for the UNF Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for WJCT Public Broadcasting, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, the Jacksonville Civic Council, Jacksonville Community Council, and the Youth Crisis Center.


Andres Gallo

Gallo is a professor in the Department of Economics and Geography here at UNF and is the co-director of the flagship program in international business. He has his doctorate in economics and has written over 30 research papers on the subject. Gallo has a central focus on Latin America and he’s taught many study abroad courses in Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, and more.


Isabella Genta

Bella Genta is a junior currently attending UNF, with a major in international relations and a minor in environmental studies. She is apart of the Delta Gamma sorority and has already finished two study abroad programs in her time at UNF. After she graduates next spring, Genta plans on getting her master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development. Genta was Student Government president for nearly three months this spring.


Ann Hicks

Yes, that Ann Hicks, the one Hicks Hall and Hicks Honors College was named after. She has been involved in leadership positions across Jacksonville including the Jacksonville Public Library, the Jacksonville Area Planning Board, and the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens to name a few.


Cecil “Mac” Holley

Holley is the financial expert.  He has 28 years of banking experience and was the president of Bank of America for Northeast Florida. In 2002, he was hired to chair a preservation project by then mayor of Jacksonville John Delaney, now our current UNF president. Holley also serves on the UNF Financing Corporation.


Debbie Johnson

The accountant. With over 30 years of accounting under her belt, Johnson is the go to member of the search committee for numbering needs. She is an alumni of UNF and served as the president of the UNF Alumni Association board.


Wendy Link

Link is the treasurer of the Florida College Trustee Commission and is a chair/member of about 20 other organizations including Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and United Way. She also has her law degree and focuses her practice on real estate.


Rad Lovett

A Harvard graduate, Lovett is all about growth and opportunities. He is the co-founder of his own growth equity firm, Lovett Miller & Co. Lovett’s organization helped bring study-abroad opportunities to UNF students as well as scholarship assistance.


Ann Lufrano

You know that gallery in the second floor of the Student Union with all those cool paintings? Dr. Lufrano established that. She retired as a counseling psychologist and serves on the UNF Student Affairs council.


Paul McElroy

McElroy is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of JEA and serves on the board of The Energy Authority. If what we want from the new president of UNF is someone who knows their electricity then it’s a good thing we have McElroy on our search committee.


Karen Patterson

Dr. Patterson is  the Associate Vice President for Faculty Resources and Dean of Undergraduate Studies. She has her doctorate in special education and has focused her research on improving the quality of learning for students with special needs.


Radha Pyati

Pyati is the UNF chemistry chair and she researches analytical chemistry. She is also president of the Faculty Association Learn more about Pyati’s research on the St. Johns River basin from a professor profile published in October.


Judith Rodriguez

Rodriguez is the chair of the Department of Nutrition at UNF and has published several research articles about food and diets.


Bruce Taylor

Taylor is responsible for the Taylor Leadership Institute here at UNF which promotes leadership and character among students. He served in the Navy Nuclear Submarine Service too


Sharon Wamble-King

Wamble-King is a jack of all trades. She a UNF Board of Trustees member, a member of the Council for Communications Management, Public Relations Society of America, and much more, with her degree in Communication.


And that’s all of them. Note the diversity of expertise in this group. There’s an expert on psychology, special education, electricity, finance, chemistry, and economics to name a few. There are six with doctorates and too many chair members to count.
The committee had its first meeting in April and has since sent out a survey to students and faculty asking for help determining what makes a good president. A new president is expected to be announced by the committee in March 2018.



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