The Florida Board of Governors unanimously confirmed the nomination of University of Central Florida Provost Dale Whittaker on Tuesday as the next UCF president.
Whittaker will become UCF’s fifth vice president after John C. Hitt, serving the university and Central Florida community for 26 years.
“There is no better or more exciting job in higher education than president at the University of Central Florida,” Whittaker said. “UCF is a fantastic institution. It’s one of the most innovative in the country, one of the most diverse, and it’s our nation’s greatest producer of talent.”
Whittaker will take Hitt’s place on July 1, 2018.
“I cannot believe the universal support that you’ve had, not only from the trustees and administrators, but also from faculty and students. It really is remarkable, and it says a lot about what you have accomplished in these last several years,” said Sydney Kitson, vice chair of the Board of Governors and the board’s representative on the UCF presidential search committee. “Great leaders surround themselves with great talent and energize those around them, and you clearly have done all of that.”
Whittaker told the Board of Governors, which oversees Florida’s 12 public universities, he believes UCF can be a national model for higher education in the 21st century.
“We will be a talent engine, meeting Florida’s growing need for world-class education and workforce innovation,” Whittaker said to the BOG. “We will deliver value by being focused stewards of families and taxpayers’ dollars, and be efficient with our resources while providing our students with the highest quality.
“And, we will grow partnerships that bring ideas to impact, focusing on our distinct strengths as a metropolitan research university and the greatest areas of opportunity for Florida.”
Hitt will work with Whittaker over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, according to UCF.