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UNF Spinnaker

Anonymous UNF faculty members share what they think about Szymanski administration

Heydi Ortiz, Editor in Chief

Just hours after Faculty Association President John White and SG President Ally Schneider dropped a bombshell at a BOT meeting meant to determine whether or not President David Szymanski deserved his $75,000 bonus, Spinnaker reached out to UNF’s United Faculty of Florida to see what faculty members had to say about the current administration.

The response was overwhelmingly negative with many claiming Szymanski has not made an effort to build a relationship between his administration and faculty. Many also said that Szymanski alienated himself by adding security to the second floor of J.J. Daniel Hall.

 The inflammatory faculty responses which can be seen below will remain anonymous. 

When Spinnaker requested to interview the President for his reaction to Tuesday’s BOT meeting and faculty responses on that meeting the university’s Director of Media Relations, Ginny Walthour said that although it was a great idea, now was not the right time but that they would love to do so in the near future.

Walthour also adamantly requested that Spinnaker “publish immediately” UNF Chair Board of Trustees Kevin Hyde’s statement in response to yesterday’s article. The statement outlines much of what was in the original article despite Spinnaker being told by Walthour that it was “one-sided”.

“During the 8/25 UNF Board of Trustees meeting, trustees expressed strong support for the President and all of his accomplishments, including significant improvements in performance metrics, meaningful increases in student retention, double-digit growth in minority enrollment, securing $6 million in MedNexus funding, and outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of his many achievements, the Board unanimously voted to award the President the full amount of incentive compensation,” said Hyde.

Not only did the university send Hyde’s response but they also sent Spinnaker an unsolicited email from John White sent last week to faculty and staff which the administration says shows White’s support of the President.     

Syzmanski is two years into a four-year contract.  Hyde, who said he was reworking Szymanski’s review after hearing concerns at the BOT meeting, says he’ll meet with Szymanski to discuss the simmering topics. Board members at the Tuesday meeting agreed that Szymanski needs to improve his relationship with the faculty for UNF to continue to move forward. 


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

About the Contributor
Photo of Heydi Ortiz
Heydi Ortiz

After being with the Spinnaker for almost three years and taking a year break, Heydi has decided to return. Heydi is a former Editor in Chief of Spinnaker...

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Comments (2)

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  • C

    Chris GauronSep 3, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you Carlotta for speaking up about the lack of access to UNF. Formal complaints to the President’s office, I can tell you from experience, about such matters having to do with the access to education corruption in Enrollment Services will likely be first ignored and then met with ‘cease and desist or else’ by the President’s agent (he will never respond directly to complaints lodged against him or UNF).

    Anissa Agne. who heads Enrollment Services, made clear in a 2011 Spinnaker Interview that she’d be implementing a one strike and you’re out SAP policy when she came aboard as Financial Aid Director. I can tell you that she does know, nor follow UNF’s own stated SAP policy terms. For example, I’ve been denied access to the loan that UNF contends I never should have taken out in the first place as it their policy to count all post-secondary classes ever taken toward max time frame (150% rule). The max time frame is not to start (confirmed by USDOE) until aggregate limits begin at the students first lifetime inception of the loan. Further, only the lower interest rate subsidized loans are subject to time frame calculations but UNF is brazen enough to believe they have right to cut of even the unsubsidized loans guaranteed them in the Master Promisary Note.

    The State University System Performance based metrics (in this case the Access rate metric) which are driven by the Trickle Down Education theory metrics of US News and World Report which prioritizes wealth of the university in its ranking metrics are, I believe what is driving the corruption. Banks funding the scholarships, for example, are heavy donors of these scholarships that pull funds away from public education towards private school scholarships. The Board Directors of these banks also happen to be the same leaders sitting on the Board of Governors so are enriching themselves, while depriving students of Access. Chancelor Criser has seen roughly a 200,000 student attendence access decline since his reign began which also coincides with the implementation of the PBM.

    UNF does not follow FLBOE rule 6A-10.033 in awarding credit. UNF has made up its its own self-invented re-definition of what credit is whereby all credits ever taken anywhere magically get dumped into the free electives catagory and become part of your grade point average and adversely affect your eligibility for Financial Aid. It is like me, a Geometry teacher, giving my students a test in Medieval Art Art History and telling the kids “I know this is in program, syllabus, or anything we’ve been studying but this test is going to be a major part of your grade – spelling counts, good luck.”

    UNF does this to feign adherence to state education access mandates like the 2+2 agreement that requires a block of 60 credits to transfer. Problem is they are undermine the very intent of the access statutes in so doing and are brazenly violating the UNF Transfer Student Bill of Rights. Everyone involved is fully aware of this including President Szymanski, Anissa Agne, Registrar Chad Learch, Dean of Students Andrea Adams Manning, and Financial Aid Director of Scholarships Will Hunter -they are all in on it! Complaints at the Board of Governors Office also will be met similar dismissal of being told to go away and not come back should you dare complain their IG or Vice-Chanceloor of Academic Affairs Christy England.

    Betsy Devos covers up well also over ED in protecting the school – took me two years to get to a live person. The IG there at USDOE cannot be reached by student borrowers and complaints are sent down to ombudsman to die as they will claim they have no power over the school. This of course contradicts Sec. Devos 2018 position where ED asserted exclusive superiority claiming any state consumer protection laws are invalid as only ED has the authority to give oversight to the school. Corruption at every part of it – common thread is they are run by the GOP. Solution vote Democrat and bring the change. Republicans are all about preventing employers and schools from getting sued. DeSantis changed the statute of limitations from 4 yrs to 1 yr for civil suits June 30th quietely in dead of night so that it becomes nearly impossible to ever sue the state (time clock will be killed in the gov’t controlled review process designed to delay). The multi-trillion relief bill is also being stalled on those terms as GOP insists on making sure you can’t sue schools.

  • C

    Carlotta AutAug 27, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Now I understand why my Son, Jeremiah Aut’s scholarships were given to him and then after a week into his classes, UNF staffing suddenly finds reasons to take his scholarships away from him that he worked so hard hard to get by keeping up a GPA by the end of graduation with his AA his GPA was 3.7. I am so disgusted that he gets told funding is low but UNF can afford to give one man a raise of $75,000. The school system is broken every where. From grade schools on up to the colleges. Why do we as working citizens pay taxes? Just so we can make the employees who run the system rich? In the meantime, the future leaders of our country are the ones who are suffering. I am a widow of a quadriplegic. He was a hard working, blue collar, truck driver. My son deserves that scholarship money and I am sure there are others that do too!! Your college should be ashamed of yourselves. You are not looking out for the future education of the young people who will be the next leaders of our country. Someone please do something to change how the school system is working and make it a positive change for a better tomorrow for our children. Sincerely, Carlotta Aut