The restructuring of UNF divisions: What is happening to Student Affairs?

Sam Chaney, Kevin Beaugrand, and Alan Vargas

The state of UNF’s Student Affairs division was left in question following the recent exit of Vice President of Student and International Affairs Mauricio Gonzalez.

Initially, one might assume Associate Vice President Everett J. Malcom would take over Gonzalez’s responsibilities, if not somebody else of equal experience. However, the University recently announced the decision to dissolve the position altogether. Moreover, it was revealed that UNF President David Szymanski will be restructuring the division itself. In other words, departments previously overseen by the Division of Student Affairs are now to be moved under Academic Affairs.

Lili Weinstein
A look into the office of the VP for Student and International Affairs

“In order to best serve our students and meet performance expectations, President David Szymanski is reorganizing the University divisional structure,” Vice President Sharon Ashton of Public Relations explained. “The position of Vice President of Student Affairs is being eliminated, and departments in Student Affairs are moving to Academic Affairs, under the direction of Interim Provost and Vice President Pam Chally.”

Currently, Student Affairs oversees departments such as Campus Life, the Counseling Center, Student Government and just about any other student-oriented center or service. So what does this particular move mean for those departments?

“As of now, there are no plans to eliminate any departments or services,” the University explained in a statement. “This new structure allows the University to focus on recruiting, retaining, graduating and placing students by integrating the units with direct responsibilities of achieving these goals.”

Meanwhile, Student Government Chief of Staff John Alozska reassured that UNF Student Government would continue forward as usual.

“In terms of Student Government, not much will change beyond who our Vice President is. Our funding is tied to enrollment and A&S fees, set by the state and allocated by the students of SG,” he explained.

According to Ashton, the only exception to the movement of Student Affairs departments to Academic Affairs is the University Police Department. UPD will instead report to Vice President of Administration and Finance Shari Shuman, as she currently chairs the UNF Crisis Management Team and is FEMA-trained as an incident commander in the event of an emergency.

Meanwhile, the University complimented Gonzalez’s actions at UNF over the last 20 years, stating that he “worked hard to enhance student life, campus arts, student wellness and recreation, all while overseeing more than two dozen departments in the division.”

His exit, however, was glossed over in an Osprey Update and the reason behind the decision was never fully explained.

Spinnaker reached out to Gonzalez for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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