Meet Provost candidate Russell Ivy

Kristina Smith

Russell Ivy was the fourth and final candidate for the Provost open forums. He took this opportunity to detail a few of his initiatives and accomplishments and explain why he could be a great addition to UNF.

Ivy earned his doctorate in Geography at the University of Florida and moved on to serve Florida Atlantic University for the last 27 years. While he’s presently the Senior Associate Provost for FAU’s Academic Affairs, he’s also functioned as the Interim Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science since 2013.

Courtesy of Florida Atlantic University

Concerning UNF’s recent merger between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, Ivy acknowledged that he’s never had Student Affairs under his supervision, but that he’s worked with them extensively as Provost.

“I’ve never had Student Affairs under me, but I’ve worked extensively with Student Affairs over my five years in the Provost office. The reality is it doesn’t really matter where those units lie, the reality is that I could see that it’s really important that those three things work together [Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Enrollment]…I think the best thing to keep a focus on, what the Provost needs to do, is facilitate the communication and the success of those units. They have a job to do, and they have a job to do together.”

As a leader that was able to help boost morale at FAU during difficult times, Ivy can be considered experienced in helping institutions grow and make improvements.

“The most exciting times at an institution are when you’re going through a transition. And it’s not only that you’re becoming something new and different, but when you’re an administrator of an institution going through something like that, you really can be part of the change. You can help shape that change, so to me that’s very exciting. And that’s one of the reasons that this particular institution interests me, because I do think all the signs are there that you’re ready to take the next big jump.”

Ivy also believes that while he is ready to take on the challenge of being Provost, he’s happy to have the safety net and experience of working in a Florida institution. He explained that he understands the Board of Governors, knows that working in higher ed can be challenging, has worked with productivity plans and curriculum groups, and constantly worked to implement diversity programs at FAU.

When asked how he could take UNF to the next level, Ivy insisted that he’s done his research and he already knows UNF is doing great things.

“I think moving to the next level is doing some things that will get us attention. So people will think of UNF and they’ll say ‘Oh yeah, that’s the school that does a, b, c’ and doing a lot of great things. I think the Provost should work with the faculty—maybe it’s the same things you’re doing well, maybe it’s something we haven’t done yet, but see what the Provost can do to help facilitate raising those up a notch so our visibility and our profile is more known than it is now. And I think that is possible.”


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