‘Honored, excited & thrilled’: Era begins at UNF as new president takes helm

Dr. Moez Limayem began his duties Monday at the University of North Florida’s seventh president.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dr. Moez Limayem began his duties Monday at the University of North Florida’s seventh president.

Limayem most recently served as the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida. He was instrumental in raising more than $126 million in gifts for the college to bolster student success, entrepreneurship and career readiness.

“You know, I visited campus a couple of months ago during the interview process, and I think it really was love at first sight,” Limayem said. “It felt good. The chemistry was there. And I’m just really honored, excited and thrilled to be part of this great family.”

Limayem was welcomed in part by the school’s mascot, Ozzie.

We asked about his goals here in Northeast Florida.

“My mission is to strengthen existing partnerships with our community and create new ones, and really, just, my hope is that any businesses in the Jacksonville greater area, when they have a challenge or opportunity or higher needs, what should be the No. 1 thing they think of? UNF,” Limayem said.

Limayem called UNF a top provider of talent in Florida, saying he’s committed to building on the university’s strengths. He was selected as the president-elect by the UNF Board of Trustees in May.

The confirmation at the end of June concluded an extensive national search that began in fall 2021. Dr. Pamela Chally served as UNF’s interim president since September.

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Lifetime Jacksonville resident & broadcast news producer who's been reporting & writing for nearly a decade here at The Local Station.

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.