Dale Whittaker has been affirmed by the Florida Board of Governors as the next president of the University of Central Florida.

Whittaker, who currently serves as UCF’s provost and executive vice president, will become the university’s fifth president on July 1. He will succeed UCF President John Hitt, who is retiring from the presidency on June 30 after 26 years.

On Thursday the Florida Board of Governors voted unanimously to accept Whittaker’s March 9 selection by the UCF Board of Trustees.

“There is no better or more exciting job in higher education than president at the University of Central Florida,” Whittaker said in a news release issued by UCF on Thursday. “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.”

UCF already has negotiated a four-year contract for Whittaker, which runs through the end of June 2022. It calls for a base salary of $506,000; annual deferred compensation of 20 percent, or another $101,000; plus various perks including an $800-per-month car allowance, and residence at the university-owned Burnett House on campus.

The UCF Board of Trustees selected Whittaker after a four-month, international search which ultimately narrowed down to four finalists. He was selected over executives from Purdue, Akron and North Dakota universities. He has been UCF provost since 2014, and was promoted to executive vice president in 2015.

“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,” Sydney Kitson, vice chair of the Board of Governors and the board’s representative on the UCF presidential search committee, stated in the news release. “Great leaders surround themselves with great talent and energize those around them, and you clearly have done all of that.”

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