UNF presents new flagships


UNF’s music and nutrition programs are now flagship programs.
UNF officials create flagships to recognize programs that have excelled in their specific concentrations. The music and nutrition programs will receive $2.5 million throughout the next five years, after which they are expected to be self-sustaining or have external support.
The funds will be used to purchase new equipment, hire new faculty and help cover travel costs.
UNF currently has flagship programs in international business, nursing, transportation and logistics, and coastal biology.
Dr. Mark Workman, UNF provost of academic affairs, said a program is worthy of flagship designation if it shows the capability to achieve high quality with the addition of resources.
A committee comprised of faculty representatives from each of the departments decides what programs will receive flagships, he said. Programs must submit a compelling proposal and budget.
The goal for the programs to continue performing at a high level, attracting more students and faculty to the university while helping to define the university, he said. Flagships also make a degree more valuable in the professional world because they make the program more elite and competitive.
“When they achieve flagship status, we don’t want programs to return to the dock as mere dingies,” Workman said.
The programs are expected to develop partnerships within the university and community, with part of the focus on community-based transformational learning.
The music and nutrition programs will be the first to receive flagship funding since 2006. The money provided comes from four sources: the state, students, private donors, and contracts and grants. Some contracts and grants are federally provided and some are locally provided.
Music Program
Dr. Gordon Brock, department of music chairman, said these resources will help the program get to a whole new level.
UNF’s department of music attracts students throughout the U.S., as well as international students, Brock said, due to the personalized experience that is offered.
“The tagline ‘no one like you, no place like this’ – we take it personally; we are in the business of transforming students,” Brock said.
Community-based transformational learning is something UNF prides itself on for students in both the music and nutrition programs.
“Part of our responsibility is to offer our students hands-on experiences,” Brock said. “The more experiences they have, the better armed they are to be successful.”
Kyle Enriquez, a UNF music performance senior, said flagship status will enhance the music program.
“It will give [the program] more national appeal,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for the music department to show what it has to offer.”
“It will hugely inspire Jacksonville,” said Jenn Ruliffson, a UNF Alumna. “[The flagship] has the potential to help the city itself grow.”
Music students perform up to six concerts a week during the school year, and aside from adding new faculty and equipment, the funds will help with travel expenses.
Nutrition Program
UNF chair of nutrition and dietetics, Dr. Judy Rodriquez, is pleased with the flagship.
“It says the university really trusts you to put your best foot forward and have really high quality and renowned programs,” she said.
Dr. Catherine Christie, UNF associate dean and outgoing chair of nutrition and dietetics, confirms the importance of hands-on learning.
Part of the reason the nutrition program applied for the flagship was to create more community-based transformational learning experiences in the undergraduate curriculum, Christie said, in addition to generating more internships.
Creating more internship slots will definitely open up possibilities for students, Christie said.
Currently, about 50 percent of nutrition students receive internships.
Nutrition students who have heard about the flagship are excited and feel validated in the career path they have chosen, she said.
“Achieving flagship status is much like a football team reaching the nationals,”said Daniel Campbell, a UNF alumni. “It says look, we’ve made it and we’re on top.”