UCF BOT names Provost Dale Whittaker as president-elect

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The UCF Board of Trustees has named Dale Whittaker as UCF’s president-elect.

Whittaker has been UCF’s provost since 2014 and vice president since 2015.

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the 12-member state university system, will interview him and hold a confirmation vote on March 29, according to a Friday press release. 

If his selection is confirmed, he will become president on July 1, the day after UCF President John C. Hitt retires.

“This is absolutely the best job in the United States, this is the best university in the United States,” Whittaker said in a live stream of Friday’s president-elect press conference.

Before coming to UCF, Whittaker held various faculty and leadership positions at Purdue University and Texas A&M University, according to his curriculum vitae.

His responsibilities at UCF as provost and vice president include overseeing academic support services, student services, curriculum, faculty appointments and development and tenure decisions, according to the same source.

At UCF, Whittaker led efforts to position UCF as a model for higher education in the 21st century. Whittaker was at the forefront of establishing UCF Downtown and charging two university task forces to reorganize certain academic programs.

Whittaker has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Purdue University. He is a professor of civil, environmental and construction engineering at UCF.

Hitt will work with Whittaker during the next few months to ensure a smooth transition, the press release states.

“Dale brings to his new role a deep understanding of UCF’s culture and strategic goals, which he has been responsible for advancing during the past three and a half years,” Marcos Marchena, chairman of UCF’s Board of Trustees, said. “He has helped to lead UCF’s commitment to transforming lives and livelihoods through learning, discovering and partnerships.”