UNF Vice President and Chief of Staff retires after almost four decades of service

Sam Chaney, Managing Editor

Having originally swooped in to UNF to offer his specialties in social justice and deaf education back in 1975, UNF Vice President and Chief of Staff Tom Serwatka will now be retiring from his position, according to the University.

Tom Serwatka. Photo courtesy of UNF.

“Tom is known for his deep passion for higher education and social justice. In addition to his scholarship on the disproportionate representation of ethnic/racial minorities in exceptional student education, the impact of deaf teachers in classrooms for deaf students and LGBT issues in education and society, his service to UNF has been voluminous,” the University released in a statement. “Over the years, he has served as the Interim Director of MOCA, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, an Associate VP for Academic Affairs and an Associate Dean of the College of Education and Human Services.”

After former Vice President Rachel Gottlieb of UNF Human Resources exited the University for other career opportunities, Serwatka also oversaw the Office of Human Resources in her stead.

Serwatka has also received various awards for his educational and social justice work, such as the Legends Award from the UNF LGBT Resource Center in 2011 or the Honors of the Organization Award from the Florida Educators of the Hearing Impaired in 1985.

“Throughout this career I have tried to use research and discourse, as well as a dedication to social justice, to help in constructing these future realities,” Serwatka explained in his faculty bio. “This has been guided by my belief in our interconnectedness and our reliance on and responsibility to creation.”

In light of Serwatka’s retirement, the University has stated Vice President and General Counsel Karen Stone will serve as the liaison to the Board of Trustees on a temporary basis, and Human Resources will be moved to Administration and Finance under the supervision of Vice President Shari Shuman.

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