Provost Patterson speaks to the UNF Senate

Interim Provost Karen Patterson, Photo courtesy of UNF

Interim Provost Karen Patterson, Photo courtesy of UNF

Carter Mudgett, Student Government Reporter

Interim Provost Karen Patterson spoke at last Friday’s Senate meeting, Jan. 22, discussing topics ranging from the importance of a strong mindset, to the university COVID-19 response. She has been a part of the UNF community for more than two decades, serving in a wide variety of roles, from adjunct instructor to the position she holds now. 


“You don’t just teach, there’s an element to it that requires service. When you invest and you meet your students and you begin to recognize the impact you have, I think it pushes you forward. […] Why would you not get your masters degree? Why would you stop? […] Would it add to your ability to do more?” said Patterson about the importance of her role. 


Because of her experience as a teacher, she believes that she began to recognize the impact she had on young people. Patterson saw that impact drive her to move forward, get her masters degree, and more. “Why would you stop?,” she asked. As the culture at UNF grows and evolves, Patterson says that she “wants to convey [her] sentiment of collaboration” with students. 


The university itself has seen change over the course of her time. In regards to improvement at UNF, she thinks that communication is sometimes an issue, and that we need to get out of this mentality that we are just planning things out in these groups. 


Speaking about UNF as a whole, Patterson said that “there is still a feeling of community, there is still that sentiment of individualized attention. I think those are good things to have. We emphasize a focus on metrics and academic support more now than in the past which is good. I don’t see these things rolling back regardless of what they’re called. It’s important to think about retention, to think about graduation. What can we do collectively to get more help to students? I see us being even more accountable for every single thing that we do. What will distinguish us from everyone else?”


When speaking to the COVID-19 pandemic response, Patterson said that she has been really impressed and proud to be a part of this organization at this time. In comparison to other campuses, UNF has been doing really well. The administration partakes in weekly meetings to deal with masks, hand sanitizer supplies, and other pressing issues. Patterson said that these discussions are ongoing, and that the plan going forward is to get as much normalcy as possible.


“We can’t let up now,” said Patterson about UNF’s COVID-19 response. 


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