Florida Board of Governors confirms Dale Whittaker as UCF’s next president

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The Florida Board of Governors unanimously confirmed Dale Whittaker as UCF’s fifth president on Thursday.

After 26 years, UCF President John C. Hitt will retire on June 30. Whittaker, the only internal candidate for the presidential search, begins his presidency on July 1, according to a Thursday press release.

“There is no better or more exciting job in higher education than president at the University of Central Florida,” Whittaker said in the release. “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 has been UCF’s provost since fall of 2014 and UCF’s executive vice president since 2015.

UCF’s Board of Trustees chose Whittaker as UCF’s president-elect on March 9. The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s 12 public universities, interviewed Whittaker before confirming his appointment on Thursday.

Sydney Kitson, vice chair of the Board of Governors, said Whittaker received “universal support” from UCF’s trustees, administrators, faculty and students during the presidential search, according to the release.

“Great leaders surround themselves with great talent and energize those around them, and you clearly have done all of that,” Kitson said.

The release states that Hitt will work with Whittaker throughout the upcoming months to “ensure a smooth transition.”