With more than 66,000 students, the University of Central Florida is one of the biggest and best universities in the nation, challenging long-held assumptions about the role and scope of higher education.
U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF among the nation’s most innovative universities along with Harvard, Stanford and Duke (we are the only school in Florida on the list.) The Washington Post credits UCF with leading a “national insurgency that aims to demolish the popular belief that exclusivity is a virtue in higher education.”
UCF is big because we believe in access and opportunity. We’re big because we believe lifting the lives and livelihoods of more people results in a stronger community and a stronger society.
Our strategic plan distills our approach to a simple formula: Scale x Excellence = Impact.
The power of scale and the pursuit of excellence make a better future for our students and society.
This is Big
This fall, the average GPA of incoming freshmen is a school-record 4.06. UCF also welcomed a school-record 88 National Merit Scholars to campus and ranks 11th among U.S. public universities for enrolling National Merit Scholars.
UCF and our 13 colleges offer more than 215 degrees from UCF’s main campus, hospitality campus, health sciences campus, online and through its 10 regional locations. The university offers 95 bachelor’s and 87 master’s degrees, 28 research doctorates, three professional doctorates and three specialist degree programs.
Regional campuses are located throughout Central Florida. UCF also includes a fully accredited College of Medicine in the Medical City at Lake Nona and, in 2017, UCF received state approval for a university hospital adjacent to the medical school.
In partnership with Valencia College, UCF has broken ground on a campus in downtown Orlando that will be home to 7,700 students when it opens in 2019.
UCF’s fully online programs include bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, graduate certificates and more.
UCF holds the Carnegie Foundation’s highest designation in two categories: community engagement and very high research activity. Kiplinger ranks us a national best-value university. At UCF, 44 percent of students graduate without any educational debt. Nationally, 34 percent of students graduate debt-free.
More than 11,000 students live on UCF’s 1,415-acre main residential campus, 13 miles east of downtown Orlando, and in UCF-affiliated or UCF-managed housing next to the campus. The campus is adjacent to one of the top research parks in the nation, which anchors the state’s nearly $5 billion modeling and simulation industry.
The Knights’ 16 athletic teams have earned landmark victories on national stages — from American Athletic Conference titles to BCS football bowl wins. In the classroom, UCF has been the No. 1 public university in the nation for student-athlete graduation success rate for four consecutive years.
UCF employs more than 12,000 people and operates on a budget of $1.7 billion. In FY 2017, UCF earned $136 million in research funding.
As of December 2017, donors have helped the university raise more than $330 million toward IGNITE: The Campaign for UCF’s $500 million fundraising goal. The campaign, focused on student success, academic excellence, and growth and opportunity, concludes in 2019. The UCF Foundation manages an endowment of more than $155 million, as of December 2017.
Founded in 1963 with classes beginning in 1968, UCF is searching for our fifth president. Our fourth president, John C. Hitt, arrived in 1992, and his remarkable 26-year tenure has seen UCF become one of the biggest and best universities in the country.
President Hitt will retire as president on June 30, 2018.
Washington Monthly named President Hitt as one of the most innovative presidents in the country, and in 2016 The Washington Post noted that he “is often referred to as Orlando’s most powerful man.”
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said: “Walt Disney and John Hitt have done more to transform Central Florida into a vibrant, dynamic place than any two people.”
Since President Hitt took office on March 1, 1992:
- Enrollment has tripled, to more than 66,000 students, making UCF one of the largest universities in the nation
- The quality of students has increased dramatically, with the 2017 fall freshman class achieving an average GPA of 4.06
- The diversity of the student body has grown exponentially. There are 30,477 minority students enrolled in fall 2017. UCF had 21,267 total students in 1992, President Hitt’s first year
- UCF has opened a College of Medicine and an on-campus football stadium and has received state approvals to open a downtown campus and a university hospital
Presidential Leadership Statement
In 2017, the UCF Board of Trustees developed the following characteristics for the university’s next president:
- A high level of integrity
- A strong personal and professional academic background
- A sense of commitment to undergraduate education, as well as a dedication to and understanding of graduate and professional education and research
- A respect and concern for students
- A commitment to inclusion and diversity
- A commitment to student success in all areas of the collegiate experience
- An understanding and respect for the roles and responsibilities of the faculty
- A demonstrated record of building, nurturing and working with a high caliber leadership team
- A demonstrated record of partnership and spirit of entrepreneurship
- A willingness to make strategic choices, timely decisions and responsive actions
- The ability to acquire resources from a variety of sources, including fundraising
- The ability to work with a variety of governmental agencies
- A keen understanding of the unique mission and the ability to lead a multisite metropolitan research university
- A desire and ability to support access and inclusion
- An appreciation for the significant role of intercollegiate athletics in the life of the university
Nominations and Applications
The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting UCF. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. For additional information, please contact:
Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
770-804-1996 ext. 109
Learn more: https://www.ucf.edu/president-search
UCF is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, including minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities. As a Florida public university, UCF makes all application materials and selection procedures available to the public upon request.