Meet the candidates: Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer interviews to begin

Carter Mudgett, Editor in Chief

Three candidates for Vice President (VP) and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) have presented their applications and will be present for individual day-long interviews on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday respectively. All applicants are current UNF employees and work in various positions across the university. 

Preallocated 30 minutes, each interview schedule opens the floor for students to ask questions to each interviewee on Zoom. The following links are available for each time slot each day:

Dr. Parvez Ahmed on Monday, Jan. 24 from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm 

Dr. Marlynn Jones on Tuesday, Jan. 25 from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm

Dr. Richmond Wynn on Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm

Dr. Parvez Ahmed 

Headshot of Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Finance, Dr. Parvez Ahmed.
Headshot of Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Finance, Dr. Parvez Ahmed. Courtesy of Dr. Parvez Ahmed.

Currently working at UNF as an Associate Professor of Finance since 2006, Dr. Ahmed has taught a range of courses during his time at UNF. These include:

  • Undergraduate: Corporate Finance, Investments and Derivatives
  • Graduate: Corporate Finance and Investments
  • Study Abroad: Finance in Egypt, Finance in London, Finance in London and Paris

Dr. Ahmed also currently holds the position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion under the Coggin College of Business. Published in many journals, books, and opinion editorials in newspapers, his full curriculum vitae (CV) can be reviewed here

Below are a few lines from Dr. Ahmed’s vision statement, a document titled “The Case for Diversity Equity and Inclusion as a Strategy for Innovation and Growth,” accessible here.

“UNF is located in a city with an unmistakable trend toward greater diversity. The latest census shows Jacksonville is already a majority-minority city, with the largest growth in population coming for Hispanic and Asian communities. Blacks remain the largest minority group in the city. This growing diversity, if fully reflected in UNF’s internal demographics, can have a transformative impact on both our ability to grow and innovate […]” wrote Dr. Ahmed. 

Access the document with Dr. Ahmed’s interview agenda here

Dr. Marlynn Jones

Headshot of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion Director Marlynn Jones.
Headshot of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion Director Marlynn Jones. Courtesy of UNF.

Director and Equal Opportunity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator since March 2019, Dr. Jones has also been an Adjunct Professor since the Fall 2019 semester and was nominated for the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award. Her full CV can be found here.

Dr. Jones has given many presentations as an invited speaker, beginning in 1992, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Who’s Who of American Women (Marquis)” in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 2000. On top of these accomplishments, she also served on the Florida Supreme Court of Florida County as a Court Mediator from 2000 to 2004. 

Below are a few lines from her vision statement to the search committee, the full document is accessible here

“Beyond race and gender, I want to see UNF expand on the programming and support services it provides to the following communities: homeless students, first-generation students, Muslim students, Jewish students, transgender students, international students, non-resident alien students, Veteran Students, students with disabilities, students in the On Campus Transition Program (OCT), students in the Transition to Healthiness, Resourcefulness, Independence, Vocation and Education (THRIVE) program, and students who have been accused of violating the university Sexual Misconduct Regulation,” she wrote. 

Access the document with Dr. Jones’s interview agenda here.

Dr. Richmond Wynn

Headshot of Richmond Wynn, Ph.D., LMHC.
Headshot of Richmond Wynn, Ph.D., LMHC. Courtesy of Dr. Richmond Wynn.

Beginning in Nov. 2021, Dr. Wynn took on the role of Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. Earning his Ph.D. from the University of Florida (UF), specifically in Counselor Education and Supervision specializing in Mental Health Counseling, Dr. Richmond Wynn is the current Director of the Counseling Center at UNF. 

He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida and is also a current Associate Professor at UNF. Dr. Wynn has taught a variety of courses, including Addictions Counseling, Counseling Diverse Populations, and Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Counseling. Read his full CV here.

Below is a paragraph pulled from his vision letter. Access the full document here

“I envision a university that mirrors the demographic profile of our local community and is a top choice as a place to study and to work. This UNF has systems that are designed to support equal access and upward mobility for all. Here, self-reflection is the norm, injustices – intentional and unintentional – are readily addressed and corrected, and power structures are transparent, nimble, and responsive to the ever-changing workforce and student cultures. I envision the dialectic – in the classroom, in the boardroom, and on The Green – being a stimulating, life enhancing experience where all concerned emerge more expansive and renewed rather than traumatized and defensive. Where the history and legacy of racism in American higher education and in other societal systems and structures is acknowledged and addressed in policy, procedural, and programmatic reckonings. I see a delicate balance of cooperation with governing bodies while speaking truth to power and reinforcing our commitment to equity and justice. This UNF understands the dynamic between free speech, advocacy, activism, and cancel culture, and anticipates the backlash that often follows progressive change, thus enabling us to respond rather than react,” he writes. 

Access the document with Dr. Wynn’s interview agenda here

How can students be involved in the process?

The search committee meetings are open to the public and more information is available upon request. Students are encouraged to attend the student Zoom sessions, links provided above, during the allocated time and ask each interviewee questions. 

Spinnaker will continue to cover the events of these interviews as they proceed. 


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