As the University of Central Florida presidential search committee meets Thursday to draw up a list of finalists, six new candidates’ names emerged, including a research vice president of the University of Oklahoma and provost at the University of Rochester, but no Florida political figures.

The UCF search to find a successor to President John Hitt now has 37 candidates. Unlike other recent Florida university presidential searches, no political figures have emerged as candidates.

New to the consideration with applications received Wednesday and released Thursday morning are Robert L. Clark Jr., the provost and senior vice president for research at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, N.Y.; and Kelvin K. Droegemeier, the vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma.

They join a list of previously-announced candidates apparently topped by current UCF Provost and Executive Vice President A. Dale Whittaker, and including  James Dean, former provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Amit Chakma, president and vice chancellor of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada; Jeffrey Herbst, past president of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y.; and James Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

The UCF presidential search committee is meeting Thursday at the Fairwinds Alumni Center at UCF to review the applications and try to narrow down the list to a group of semi-finalists.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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