For its top job, the University of Central Florida once again promoted from within, as USF continues its transition from the 26-year administration of now-retired President John Hitt to that of his successor (and former right-hand-man) Dale Whittaker.
President Whittaker announced Wednesday that Elizabeth Dooley will succeed Whittaker as UCF provost and vice president for academic affairs, the number two position in the university.
Dooley has been serving as interim provost since Whittaker was named the university’s next president in March and began transitioning in April. Prior to that, she served three years as UCF’s vice provost for teaching and learning and dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies. Prior to that had a long and distinguished career at West Virginia University.
She is the first woman and the first African-American to serve as UCF’s provost.
She also is a coal miner’s daughter, according to a news release issued by UCF. She credited her parents for instilling a lifelong love of learning and setting her on a path to success.
“I am deeply honored and humbled that President Whittaker, faculty, staff and students have put their faith in me to serve as provost at the greatest university in the world,” Dooley stated in the news release. “The extraordinary support I have received as interim provost has been amazing, and I look forward to continuing to work each day to help achieve our university’s goal of becoming America’s 21st-century preeminent university.”
Prior to coming to UCF in 2015, she spent about 25 years at West Virginia University. She served as WVU’s associate provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the founding dean of the University College and interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services. Dooley also was the department chair of Curriculum Instruction/Literacy Studies and Special Education, as well as the director of numerous university programs throughout her tenure at West Virginia.
Dooley earned a doctorate of education and a master of arts in special education from WVU, as well as a bachelor of arts from Alderson Broaddus College.
Whittaker credited her with providing visionary leadership.
“I’ve watched her service as interim provost and am convinced that Elizabeth is the right choice to help UCF become the state’s next preeminent university,” he stated in a communication to the university’s community.