The University of North Florida (UNF) is a public university in Jacksonville, Florida. A member institution of the State University System of Florida, the university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees to its students. Its campus comprises 1,300 acres in the middle of a natural preserve on Jacksonville's Southside. The current president is former Jacksonville mayor John Delaney.
UNF opened in 1972, with Thomas G. Carpenter serving as its first president. Initially designated an upper division college for juniors and seniors, it began admitting freshmen in 1984. UNF is organized into five colleges which offer 53 undergraduate degree programs and 28 graduate degree programs, with noted business, coastal biology, nursing, nutrition, and music programs. Most students reside off campus, though there are six areas of on-campus housing. In 2006, the Social Sciences building became the first facility to be LEED-certified in northeast Florida, as well as the first "green" building on campus. As of 2010, there are five buildings on campus that have been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
UNF has over 140 clubs and organizations for students as well as an active Student Government and Greek life. The student-run newspaper The Spinnaker is published weekly. Its intercollegiate athletics teams are known as the Ospreys, and are currently members of the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I. Beginning in 2007, The Princeton Review has named UNF one of the best colleges in the Southeast for four consecutive years, and has been named one of "America's Best Colleges" by Forbes Magazine.
The university was founded in 1969 after 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) midway between downtown Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Beaches were set aside for the campus, 500 acres (2.0 km2) of which were donated by the Skinner family of Jacksonville. Until this time, the only publicly funded institution of higher learning was Florida Community College at Jacksonville. Construction on classrooms and buildings began in 1971 and UNF opened in the Fall of 1972 with an initial enrollment of 2,027 juniors, supported by 117 faculty and more than 150 staff. Originally, like the other Florida state institutions opened around this time, UNF was designated as a "senior" college, meaning that it would enroll only upperclassmen and graduate students.
UNF graduated 35 students in 1973. The school was quick to expand and it was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1974. The school's mascot, the osprey, was adopted in November 1979 over other choices such as the armadillo, the manatee and the seagull. The male and female versions of the mascot are known as Ozzie and Harriet.
In 1980, there was a legislative effort to merge UNF with the University of Florida but a bill proposing this was vetoed by Governor Bob Graham. Freshmen and sophomores were admitted for the first time in 1984. Enrollment at UNF exceeded 10,000 in 1995, and in the spring of 2000 it broke its commencement record, graduating over 1,000 students.
The 2000s saw significant development on campus as many new buildings including the Social Science building, Science and Engineering building, College of Education and Human Services building, Fine Arts Center, Student Union, and Osprey Fountains residence hall were built. In 2002, a 13-member Board of Trustees began work to oversee UNF. Former mayor of Jacksonville John Delaney was appointed President of the university in 2003.
UNF was officially reclassified as an NCAA Division I school for its athletics programs in 2009.
UNF has 28 major buildings and six housing facilities on campus. Many of the buildings bear the names of individuals who have made significant contributions to the university. These buildings include the Coggin College of Business, the John E. Mathews, Jr. Computer and Information Sciences Building, and J. J. Daniel Hall. In addition, the current library bears the name of the university's first president, Thomas G. Carpenter. The Green is a central open grassy area on the campus that is popular with students.
The Social Sciences building, which opened in the fall of 2006, became the first Northeast Florida facility to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Also the first "green" building on campus, it received the 2007 Award of Excellence for University Building by the Southeast Construction Company for Energy and Environmental Design. There is also a state-protected wildlife and bird sanctuary featuring miles of nature trails and numerous lakes and ponds on and around campus.
The size of the campus has grown to 1,300 acres (5.3 km2). In the fall of 2007, the university began offering a shuttle service between campus locations including the dorms, UNF Hall, the parking lots, Carpenter Library, and the UNF Arena.
A new Biological Sciences building opened in the spring of 2012. A new Student Wellness Center opened in the fall of 2012, replacing the Dottie Dorion Fitness Center. An addition to the College of Education and Human Services was completed in December 2011. A new multi-story dining hall has been completed in the fall of 2012. All four buildings are expected to be LEED-certified.
The Thomas G. Carpenter Library, or building 12, is named after the University's first president, Thomas G. Carpenter. Groundbreaking began on August 8, 1978 and was completed on October 1, 1980.
Construction to expand the library by adding a four story addition began in May 2004. This addition added 79,000 square feet (7,300 m2) and increased the capacity of the library from 800 to 2,000, bringing the total size of the library to 199,000 square feet (18,500 m2). Costing $22.5 million, the new addition was opened in December 2005.
Currently, the library has 328 public workstations, 18 group study rooms, 37 carrels, 19 faculty, 25 support staff, over 1.4 million microform units, over 800 videos, 13,000 electronic journals, over 52,000 electronic books, and over 840,000 volumes. Electronic resources are available off campus for current students, faculty and staff. Free wireless Internet is provided throughout the entire building and laptops are available for checkout to currently enrolled students.
The UNF Student Union, which opened in 2009, contains a two-story bookstore, restaurants, game-room, auditorium, art gallery, ballroom, bank, and amphitheater. It is the home of UNF Student Government, The Spinnaker, Osprey Television, Osprey Radio, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, an LGBT Resource Center and other student organizations. The Student Union comprises two buildings, with a covered walkway in between known as "Osprey Plaza". The structure cost $50 million to construct, and is a LEED-certified building. It is also one of the first Gold LEED-certified buildings in Jacksonville.
UNF acquired the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville in 2009 as a cultural resource. The affiliation with the museum allows UNF to improve the facility's operations and marketing. Credit-bearing art classes and student art shows are currently planned. The acquisition is expected to improve the museum and UNF's art and design programs, increase UNF's downtown presence, and strengthen ties with the city. Coincidentally, UNF's Downtown Center which operated from 1978 to 1987 was in the building before it became the art museum.
In Fall 2011, UNF had an acceptance rate of 50.8% and a freshman retention rate of 83%. The average SAT score of incoming freshmen was 1204 on a 1600 scale, up from 1144 only six years earlier. The average ACT score was 26, up from 24 two years earlier. The average grade point average was 3.84.
For the 2011-2012 academic school year, annual undergraduate tuition was $5,449 for in-state students and $19,709 for out of state students. UNF has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:20.
UNF is organized into five colleges which offer 53 undergraduate degree programs and 28 graduate-degree programs.
The University of North Florida Department of Music is well known for its Jazz Studies program, founded by jazz euphonium player Rich Matteson and currently headed by saxophonist Bunky Green. The faculty of the Jazz Studies program includes other musicians such as Danny Gottlieb, Dennis Marks, and Lynne Arriale. The UNF Jazz Ensemble 1 is internationally renowned, having performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, a two-week tour of China, and was twice named the top collegiate jazz band in the nation by Down Beat Magazine. A special component of the UNF Jazz Studies Program is the Great American Jazz Series, which regularly brings in internationally known jazz artists as residents. This series, along with other opportunities, has enabled students to perform in concert with more than 100 esteemed artists, such as Herbie Hancock, the Count Basie Orchestra, Joe Henderson, Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Dave Brubeck, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Christian McBride, Louie Bellson, Billy Taylor, Arturo Sandoval, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Green, Russell Malone, and Branford Marsalis, among many others.
In Fall 2006, the Coggin College of Business was added to the Princeton Review's Best 282 Business Schools list. Robert Franek, Vice President of publishing, stated: "[w]e chose schools for this book based on our high regard for their academic programs and offerings, institutional data we collect from the schools, and the candid opinions of students attending them who rate and report on their campus experiences at the schools. We are pleased to recommend the University of North Florida's Coggin College of Business to readers of our book and users of our website as one of the best institutions they could attend to earn an MBA."
Two of the Coggin College of Business flagship programs are Transportation and Logistics and International Business. The Transportation and Logistics program was ranked 13th in the nation by Supply Chain Management Review, paving the way for national prominence. The college came in ahead of the highly regarded programs at Stanford, Harvard, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and is the leading logistics program in the southeast. The College has also been recognized by the Princeton Review, winning "Outstanding Business School" in the 2009 and 2010 editions of the "Best 296 Business Schools". Also the College of Business is one of 549 schools that is accredited by the AACSB which honors the best business schools in the world.
The coastal biology program is a flagship program from the College of Arts and Sciences, and community nursing is a flagship program from the Brooks College of Health.
In March 2006, The Princeton Review ranked UNF number five in their list of America's "Best Value" Colleges. UNF's status as a "Best Value" College was reaffirmed in 2007, 2009, and 2011. In 2007, 2009 and 2010, the university was named one of the "Best Southeastern Colleges" by The Princeton Review.
UNF's Greek life is the largest student entity on campus with approximately 1,300 students and 24 Greek-lettered groups. Fraternities include Alpha Phi Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Chi Phi, Delta Upsilon, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Tau Omega, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Kappa Sigma, Omega Psi Phi, and Sigma Lambda Beta. Sororities include Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Gamma, Delta Sigma Theta, Gamma Eta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Zeta Phi Beta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Sigma Lambda Gamma and Sigma Gamma Rho.
UNF has over 200 clubs and organizations for students. Intercollegiate club sports such as rugby, lacrosse, and ice hockey are available. Students also participate in intramural sports on campus like soccer, ultimate frisbee, and sand volleyball on campus. The UNF Alumni Association organizes the UNF Presidential Envoys, a group of UNF students that serve as ambassadors for President Delaney and the university on campus and in the community.
The Game Room is a popular place on campus for students to spend time and play pool, table tennis, board games, and video games. The game room also offers weekly activities such as game tournaments, trivia night, and capture the flag. Athletic recreation on campus includes basketball and racquetball at UNF Arena, the Student Wellness Complex, the UNF skate park, two beach volleyball courts, and golf at the Hayt Golf Learning Center.
Osprey Productions, an Agency of Student Government, is UNF's entertainment agency that puts on free events for students. These include concerts, comedy shows, movies, games, karaoke, and open mic nights.They operate using a staff of 10 students and one staff adviser. Osprey Productions is open to all students to join and assist in events on campus. All of the events Osprey Productions has are free for students and their friends at UNF.
The UNF Eco-Adventure Program allows students to use the miles of nature trails and multiple lakes on campus. The lakes are open to canoeing, kayaking, and catch-and-release, non-live-bait fishing. Students can also check out free outdoor equipment from the Eco-Adventure check out center.
The University of North Florida has six areas of on-campus housing, three of which offer similar, suite/efficiency-like rooms: The Osprey Crossings, Osprey Landing, and Osprey Cove; each of these are designed for triple occupancy but currently only house two residents. Additionally, Osprey Hall offers more of a traditional, dorm-like environment with double occupancy along with communal bathrooms and showers. Osprey Village offers an apartment-like feel with either double or quadruple occupancy. Osprey Hall, The Crossings, Osprey Landing, and Osprey Cove are designated for freshmen although upperclassmen live there as well, while Osprey Village is an upperclassmen residence.
Osprey Fountains is the only dorm on campus providing private individual rooms. The five-story building houses 1,000 students and consists of 365,000 square feet (33,900 m2). The building is divided into two towers, North and South, that each contain two "houses" per floor. It includes a convenience store, grill and common area, kitchens, recreational facility, laundry rooms, swimming pool and a lazy river. Other amenities include The Morgue, a library like study room; Joe's Diner, a 50's style study room with an iPod compatible jukebox; and The Galaxy, a game room including Xbox 360s, PS3s, and Wiis attached to wide-screen high-definition televisions.
The majority of UNF students reside off campus.
The University of North Florida currently operates ten dining facilities on campus, plus three convenience stores called "Outtakes." The "Osprey Cafe" is the main buffet style restaurant on campus, and is popular for students with meal plans. Other on campus choices include Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Chop'd and Wrap'd, and Jamba Juice. The Student Union has a food court with extra options like Papa John's, Quizno's, Coyote Jack's, and Chick-N-Grill. Overlooking a lake, the Boathouse is an eat-in or take out restaurant that offers wine and beer and often has live entertainment. The restaurant is a UNF tradition that first opened on campus in 1973 and has been rebuilt or renovated multiple times.
The Spinnaker is the student-run newspaper that publishes weekly. UNF's student-run television channel is Osprey TV, which shows full length movies, UNF athletics and events, and original student programming, including a news and features show at 7 pm Tuesday and Thursday. It is channel 170 on the campus.Spinnaker Radio broadcasts music online, and on channel 171 on campus. The UNF Journal is the official publication for university alumni, and Inside is an electronic newsletter published monthly for faculty and staff.
The university is the home of literary journal Fiction Fix, which has published nine issues since its inception in 2002. Issues have included works by authors from UNF, and from across the United States and world.
The University of North Florida's intercollegiate teams, known as the "North Florida Ospreys", compete at the NCAA Division I level. UNF began intercollegiate sports in 1983 as a member of the NAIA, then later moved the NCAA Division II, and is currently a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I.
UNF competes in 17 sports and won the Sunshine State Conference's all-sports title four times. In 2005 the Men's baseball team competed for the Division II world series, capturing 2nd place overall. In addition the men's tennis team also was national Division II runners-up. UNF has captured the Peach Belt Conference Commissioner's Cup five consecutive times. The Ospreys have brought home four national titles—men's golf in 1991 and 1993, and women's tennis in 1986 and 1994. UNF's first Division I conference title came in 2008 when the men's golf team captured the Atlantic Sun crown. The university plans to add a women's golf program in 2013.
On September 2, 2008, the University announced plans for UNF Varsity Village. The project will cost an estimated $30 million which will provide two new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities. The two new facilities will be a student wellness and sports education center, and a new baseball stadium with a seating capacity of 3,000. The existing stadium, Harmon Stadium will be renovated to include 1,200 seats and used for softball. Other improvements include upgrades to the Arena and Hodges Stadium.