Szymanski to transition from UNF President to CEO of UNF MedNexus

Darvin Nelson and Carter Mudgett

Today’s Board of Trustees meeting (B.O.T.) concluded with UNF President Szymanski being officially named as the CEO and Executive Director of UNF MedNexus, a medical program created back in 2020. The vote was unanimous, and effective Sep 17, 2021, Szymanski will no longer be UNF’s President.

The meeting wrapped up quickly, as all members of the board expressed their praise for President Szymanski and all of his accomplishments. Since beginning his tenure back in May 2018, he has led UNF to be recognized as a nationally-ranked public university. 

Under Szymanski’s leadership, the University also raised nearly $50 million; hit a record endowment of over $147.6 million; developed and approved a bold 5-year university strategic plan focused on student success; formulated and implemented a separate strategic plan focused exclusively on diversity, equity and inclusion; advanced pending Carnegie research classification to R2 status; increased underrepresented minority freshmen by 40 percent; and furthered UNF’s status as Florida’s Jobs University,” reads the press release. 

So, what is the UNF MedNexus? 

According to their website, it’s a program dedicated to “linking resources across county lines and throughout the state in a collaborative effort to expand educational programs and enhance medical research.” The MedNexus will help address the state’s growing and evolving healthcare needs, and pave the way for Florida students to find healthcare positions in the field. The innovative program will also improve medical research through collaborations with educational institutions and research hospitals throughout the state.

Inspiration is pulled from projections for 2016-2024 that indicate that 23 percent of Florida’s job growth will be in healthcare, roughly 200,000 jobs, according to UNF.

“UNF MedNexus is about students. It’s about jobs. It’s about meeting the healthcare needs of our community, our state and our healthcare providers,” said Szymanski. “UNF MedNexus will become a leader and catalyst in preparing high-quality healthcare professionals in Northeast Florida and throughout the state in a way that is innovative and uniquely UNF.”

Another B.O.T meeting will be held on Thursday of next week, Aug. 12, to consider an interim President. More information about the university’s search for the next UNF President will be released soon.

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