The Provost of the University of Central Florida withdrew as a finalist in Iowa State University’s search for a new president.

Provost Dale Whittaker sent a mass email to students, faculty, and staff detailing his decision. In the email, Whittaker explained that he already works for one of the best universities in the country – UCF – and sees the potential of the future in Orlando. The academic leadership and vast research taking place at UCF drew Whittaker to stay, he said Friday morning.


Knight News interviewed Whittaker at the soft opening of Limbitless Solutions’ on-campus lab where the provost expressed his enthusiasm for the moves the university had been making:

Provost’s Update: Keeping Our Momentum

Yesterday, I withdrew as a finalist in Iowa State University’s presidential search.
Let me explain why.

I already work at one of the best universities in the nation. UCF is a leader in redefining higher education in the 21st century.
While Iowa State is a wonderful institution with a rich history, I am focused on the future. And I believe the future of higher education is that of a university with UCF’s values located in a community like Orlando.

That’s because we are home to thinkers, helpers, and makers who are pushing boundaries and shifting paradigms to solve big problems. For someone who believes in the power of education to lift lives and livelihoods, there is no better place to be.

For instance, Wednesday night I had the pleasure of recognizing 45 of our faculty luminaries who are academic leaders in their fields — but more importantly, who are making contributions to our community and the world that have a lasting impact.

From speech therapy and sea turtle conservation to forensic science and performance art, our faculty is making a better future for our students and society.

Like President Hitt said this week, I am proud of our impact. And, more than ever, I am committed to keeping our momentum moving forward.
Your hard work has brought the many successes President Hitt highlighted during this week’s State of the University. And, I am excited about what we can accomplish together in the years ahead.