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First Coast

UNF selects new president: USF business dean Moez Limayem

Moez Limayem.jpg

The University of North Florida has selected Moez Limayem as UNF’s seventh president.

The board of trustees announced this morning that Limayem will replace David Szymanski, who stepped down last year after three years in the position.

Limayem has served as dean of the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida in Tampa for the past decade. As dean, he raised more than $126 million, which included multimillion-dollar gifts to support students.

With the addition of a student success center and various initiatives, the freshman retention rate has risen to 95% and the college boasts strong job placement rates, UNF said in a news release.

Since 2021, Limayem also has led university-wide efforts relating to career preparation and placement, internships and talent development of students.

Before USF, Limayem served as the associate dean for research and graduate programs at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, where he oversaw all business graduate programs including master’s, doctoral and executive education programs. He also served as the academic director for MBA programs.

“Dr. Limayem has a proven record as an innovative and accomplished leader with the vision to advance the University," Kevin Hyde, chair of the UNF board of trustees, said in the news release. "As we celebrate UNF’s 50th year, we look forward to Dr. Limayem using his experience, leadership and engaging style to continue to build on our strong history, growing opportunities for students and enhancing the University’s critical role in the region and beyond."

Limayem was selected after a national search launched last fall. The three other finalists were:

  • David Blackwell, a professor of finance and former provost at the University of Kentucky.
  • David Brennen, a professor of law and former dean of the law school at the University of Kentucky.
  • Marc Miller, dean of the law school at the University of Arizona.

Limayem's appointment must be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors, which will meet June 29-30.