About the Office of Collaborative Initiatives

Enhancing the University of Florida as a Socially Engaged Partner.

Working directly with Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Charlie Lane, to develop the Office of Collaborative Initiatives, the aim has been to build on, and to expand, the work that began with the UF Strategic Development Plan and the community engagement efforts that were conducted as part of that process. The focus of the Office is to increase UF’s emphasis and capacity for building mutually beneficial relationships and forging long-term partnerships which enhance the effectiveness and impact of community engagement, strategic partnerships and place-based initiatives. As Director, my role focuses on enhancing meaningful impact in our local community through a broad range of institution-level initiatives and long-term strategic partnerships by working “with” our community rather than working “at” the community.

Building relationships on-campus and off-campus. The Office of Collaborative Initiatives works to develop and implement operational and structural mechanisms that shift and advance the way in which UF engages with our local and our extended community in order to address inequities and disparities in educational attainment, health and wellness, art and cultural relevancy, workforce opportunities, economic development, affordable housing, homelessness, food access and other key social issues where our community defines a clear and pressing need. These are complex and pervasive social issues that can only be addressed through long-term collaborative efforts built on a foundation of mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual benefit. By bringing together resources and perspectives from all parts of our community, we work to break down silos and work to enhance both our community on-campus as well as our community off-campus.

About Director Andrew Telles

Andrew Tellis

I joined the University of Florida in January of 2019 as its first Director of Collaborative Initiatives. I came to Gainesville after working more than 10 years in Gothenburg, Sweden to enhance the capacity of a large public research university to be more strategic and proactive in managing the utilization of research-based knowledge to enhance the potential of research and education to create social value through innovation, entrepreneurship and collaborative endeavors for both public and private institutions.

As Director of Collaborative Initiatives, my role is to develop and enhance the University of Florida’s collaboration and partnership efforts within our community to promote positive and meaningful impact throughout the Greater Gainesville area. A key part of his role is to understand the needs and challenges that are of the greatest significance for the community and to identify UF resources, initiatives and people that can most effectively support efforts to address those needs and challenges.

I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to bring my experience and skills to UF to support continued efforts to strengthen the reputation and capacity of the University of Florida to operate as a socially responsible partner and as a force for positive community impact.

Contact Information

You can reach Andrew Telles @

Email: andrew.telles@ufl.edu 

Phone: (352) 283-1674