Author Topic: The University of North Florida: A Brief History  (Read 10948 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« on: February 19, 2014, 03:00:02 AM »
The University of North Florida: A Brief History



Sure, there are many people who know about UNF. But how many know anything beyond that? My guess is not many— including myself. With so much information actually out there I thought, “Why not compile it all into one, easily accessible story?” And as a student about to graduate from the University of North Florida, I didn’t want to leave here without learning about where I was coming from. So then... what exactly is the story behind UNF?

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-feb-the-university-of-north-florida-a-brief-history

bencrix

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 08:22:32 AM »
Although I think the UNF campus is quite attractive (more so everyday) and the adjacent Sawmill Slough is fantastic, it seems we really missed an opportunity when the decision was made to not locate at the Springfield or McCoys location. Though it would have cost more, probably would have been a very wise investment

pierre

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 08:27:12 AM »
I agree but that ship sailed a long time ago. I think the best we could see is maybe a pseudo-satellite campus downtown. They have the MOCA and nothing else, as far as I know.

bencrix

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 08:32:57 AM »
Agreed. Both UNF & JU need a significant presence downtown (and leading roles in its revitalization).

pierre

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 08:53:45 AM »
I think of UNC-Charlotte as comparable to UNF, probably just a few years ahead. Their main campus is several miles outside of downtown Charlotte and has a similar suburban, spead out setup as UNF. They recently opened a downtown campus. Something like that for UNF would be cool.

http://centercity.uncc.edu/

thelakelander

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 08:58:43 AM »
UCF has also expanded into downtown Orlando:



http://cem.ucf.edu/

One can only imagine what the urban core would resemble today if the Springfield site were chosen for UNF's main campus. However, as others have said, that ship has sailed. Nevertheless, we do have the campuses of EWC and FSCJ in and near downtown....both of which we fail to properly utilize.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

bencrix

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 09:03:37 AM »
Good points about EWC and FSCJ. EWC in particular, since it is more of a residential campus than FSCJ.

Overstreet

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 09:04:55 AM »
FSCJ is the college downtown.  Which, like UNF, started as a 2 year college and now offers four year degree programs.

CityLife

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 09:31:27 AM »
FSCJ is the college downtown.  Which, like UNF, started as a 2 year college and now offers four year degree programs.

UNF is part of the State University System of Florida. FSCJ is part of the Florida College System. Basically they do not operate on level playing fields. The State University System schools get more funding, do significantly more research, attract much high caliber students, and generally operate at much higher levels than those in the Florida College System. FSCJ has its role in our local ecosystem/economy, but Jax can't (and shouldn't) rely on it as a major driver of economic development or downtown redevelopment. Heck, they don't even have dorms.


finehoe

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 10:47:42 AM »
... Jax can't (and shouldn't) rely on it as a major driver of economic development or downtown redevelopment...

Why not?  It's already there.  It's much easier to make use of resources you already have rather than spin your wheels trying to bring in something new.

thelakelander

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 12:47:52 PM »
... Jax can't (and shouldn't) rely on it as a major driver of economic development or downtown redevelopment...

Why not?  It's already there.  It's much easier to make use of resources you already have rather than spin your wheels trying to bring in something new.

Rely and take advantage of are two totally different things. FSCJ is a major downtown destination we've failed to take advantage of. State & Union, Klutho Park/Hogans Creek could easily be so much more by better integrating FSCJ with it's surroundings, enabling the surrounding areas to economically benefit from the traffic the campus already generates.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

CityLife

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 01:22:12 PM »
Yea that is essentially what I meant. FSCJ can be a benefit to downtown, particularly State and Union and Springfield as Lake pointed out.

I was speaking more about corporate relocations, large scale development, research and development, big picture stuff, etc. FSCJ has a very small endowment of $32 million, is poorly funded by the state (even less than our already poorly funded universities), generates no research dollars, and there are minimal (if any) Public Educational Capital Outlay (PECO) funds for new construction projects from the state these days. Basically if FSCJ is to make any big moves it will have to come from fundraising and corporate donations, and frankly it would be foolish for anyone (or any company) to make a major donation to FSCJ over a more prestigious institution that could make the money go further and accomplish more with it.

FSCJ can be a benefit to the city and to downtown, but as an institution it is limited in what it can accomplish.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 01:32:29 PM by CityLife »

thelakelander

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2014, 01:41:28 PM »
Understood. Luckily for Jax, UNF doesn't have to be downtown to continue to grow and expand to the point where it can influence corporate relocations, large scale development, research, etc.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

For_F-L-O-R-I-D-A

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 05:04:11 PM »
UNF will never be of the magnitude to influence corporate relocation. UNF should really put its focus on graduating undergraduates since it is God awful at that. 21% of students graduate in 4 years from UNF. Jacksonville should attempt to convince the University of Florida and its 700 million dollar research funding (more than the rest of Florida's universities combined) to continue to have more of a presence in our city and urban core. Imagine if UF poured more money into a pharmacy and nursing program in Jax along with the Medical Residency program and expanded its campus into downtown where FSCJ is? Maybe share facilities? What about tapping into the law and MBA programs at UF which are top tier and working more to bring them to Jacksonville? UF poured 50 million into their new research facility in Orlando's Medical City. Sanford-Burnham said they would only relocate there if UF were involved. Imagine if Jax could get the same investment?

thelakelander

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Re: The University of North Florida: A Brief History
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2014, 05:32:52 PM »
You'll get no argument from me about trying to expand UF's presence in our region.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali