Announcing Our New Provost Thursday, October 31, 2019, at 1:23 p.m.

Dear fellow members of the Jacksonville University community

With thanks and appreciation to our team of nine faculty members comprising the Provost selection committee, I am pleased to accept the recommendation of our faculty and announce that Dr. Christine Sapienza will become Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost of Jacksonville University, effective today.

This concludes a national Provost search led by Dr. Mary Gipson, chair of the Faculty Assembly and of our Faculty Executive Committee, and eight senior faculty members, representing equally each of our four colleges. Dr. Sapienza has served the University for the past 18 months as interim Provost during the search. Last week, the search committee formally recommended Dr. Sapienza for the permanent position, and I have benefited from follow-up discussion this week with the committee and our Deans. All of us owe the committee a debt of gratitude for investing hundreds of hours, conducting dozens of meetings, and exhibiting tireless dedication to helping make us a better university. I know you will join me in thanking each of them. We can all be proud of the fair and thorough process undertaken here. We have reached out to the other two national finalists in the search, thanking them for their interest and participation, acknowledging and recognizing their outstanding career accomplishments to date.  

As is our custom on this campus, I know you will support Dr. Sapienza as she officially steps into this role and works to execute a bold academic vision for the future of our University. 

Since joining us in 2013, Dr. Sapienza has paved a stellar path. She successfully developed hundreds of industry and community partnerships that benefit our faculty and students. She launched a new undergraduate and graduate academic program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She also led the effort to establish the University’s first new college in over 30 years -- the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, which has become the largest and fastest-growing college on our campus under her leadership as Dean. Known globally as the co-inventor of the expiratory muscle strength trainer (the EMST150), which is used by speech pathologists around the world, Dr. Sapienza continues to invent new devices to help deliver safe, quality patient care. Before coming to Jacksonville University, she taught at the University of Florida for 20 years, including eight years of serving as chair of UF’s highly-ranked Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She holds a Ph.D. in Speech Science from the University at Buffalo, as well as an M.A. and B.A. in Communication Sciences. 

In her new role, Dr. Sapienza becomes a permanent member of the President’s Cabinet, the President’s Council, Executive Staff, the senior administration leader for the University’s Academic Affairs committee of the Board of Trustees, and a regular participant in the Board of Trustees meetings.

Having served alongside Dr. Sapienza in our University’s shared leadership model of governance since 2013, I have seen her drive, commitment, dedication, and decisiveness in action to the benefit of our faculty, students and community. She has been a creative and passionate advocate for the outstanding work of our talented faculty. Her consistent orientation toward partnership, progress and innovation will serve us well in achieving our institutional ambitions in the years ahead.

Dr. Sapienza and I are beginning a series of outreach conversations with faculty and staff throughout the University to ensure regular counsel, improved two-way communication, proper focus on planning and priorities, and appropriate recognition of the accomplishments of those who teach our students so well. She will also be playing a lead role, in collaboration with others throughout our University, in our 2020-2024 strategic planning initiative, now underway.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Dr. Sapienza for her commitment and dedication to our University as we continue the progress created by your outstanding efforts. 

With thanks,

Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981