Meet Provost candidate Abbey Zink

Aisling Glocke, Managing Editor

While the search for the next UNF Provost continues, it was Dr. Abbey Zink’s turn to take to the stage and have an open forum.

Photo by Aisling Glocke.

Zink earned her doctorate in English at Northern Illinois University along with a Master of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism both at Marshall University. She’s been recognized for a partnership she coordinated between Western Connecticut State University and two local school systems that became a model in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. She also coordinated another partnership with LULAC Council No. 1 Foundation to establish the Tejano Civil Rights Museum in Corpus Christi. Zink is the current Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sam Houston State University.

If chosen as Provost, Zink hopes to create specific and concrete goals for the university.

“I remember meeting with one of my junior faculty members and he said, it was his third-year review, and he said, ‘What do I need to do?” and I was like, ‘Well the old school traditional answer is more, okay? Even though you’ve done a lot the answer is more,’’’ Zink explained. “I want to be more specific than that, that’s been one of my goals for me, to be able to be more specific than just that.”

Zink views the integration of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs as a huge success for the university and believes its integration will bring a better understanding of the student body.

“Everywhere I’ve worked I’ve partnered with Student Affairs,” Zink said. “I was excited about that aspect of the leadership profile. I think it makes a lot of sense. A couple years ago I attended NASPA as part of a leadership program and that’s the major, one of the major conferences for Student Affairs professionals… What I came away with was a profound respect for what people do in Student Affairs. In many ways, on a lot of issues, they’re way ahead of Academic Affairs, in terms of thinking about the whole students, the developmental issues with students, on self-care and that kind of thing. I love the idea of bringing Academic Affairs and Student Affairs together so that we can talk about the whole student, with everyone around the table and instead of in files.”

Photo by Aisling Glocke.

When asked how she would measure her success in three years if chosen as Provost, Zink responded with this subtle explanation:

“I would measure my success in three years if we had a vision if we had been able to run together in articulating a clear vision and people felt like they can see where they are in that vision and that we were making steady progress on our goals and that we knew what those goals were and how we made progress.. and if we increase our pipeline with bringing in more students of color that reflect our community and to work out what the balances between research and teaching.”

Zink was the second out of four candidates that hosted an open forum this week for the Provost position. More details on the rest of the candidates can be found here.

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