I am pleased to share that we have hired Dennis Crudele as the university’s long-term interim Chief Financial Officer. Dennis will begin on May 6.

Dennis brings to UCF more than 30 years of higher education experience, including 28 years at Florida Atlantic University. He held a number of administrative posts at FAU, including senior vice president for financial affairs and chief financial officer. Dennis also was tapped to serve as FAU’s interim president during a time of transition, a tribute to his deep knowledge of university finance, administration and operations.

Dennis will bring a wealth of experience and a fresh set of eyes to UCF. He also will provide leadership and stability for our hard-working finance and accounting staff.

Dennis will serve until a permanent CFO is hired by UCF’s next president, whom we anticipate will take office in summer 2020.

Additionally, I would like to thank retired Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, who agreed in January to come to UCF on a temporary assignment to help lead change in our Administration and Finance division. Since his arrival in January, Bob has served us well as senior counsel to the president, and later as our interim CFO. As he finishes his work at UCF in the next few weeks, we will celebrate his contributions during a difficult time.

Our Priorities

Last month, I described four priorities for my time as interim president: strengthening our operations, rebuilding trust, expanding our resources and investing in excellence. Identifying strong leaders to help us focus on these areas is important progress in our collective work.

Earlier this month, I established a task force with Provost Elizabeth Dooley to take a long-term look at our enrollment strategy. The new task force, which includes representatives from faculty, students, staff and our Board of Trustees, will guide enrollment strategy beginning with Fall 2021, focusing on excellence and student success.

The enrollment task force will examine the number and mix of students we enroll, including those admitted directly from high school, transfer students and graduate students, while continuing our strong commitment to programs like UCF Online and DirectConnect to UCF.

While we have been through many changes during the past few months, I am confident in these important ongoing efforts to strengthen our university. As we prepare to celebrate another class of outstanding graduates next week, I appreciate the great talent and team we have to make UCF a model 21st-century institution.

Thank you for your shared commitment to our university and students’ success.

Charge On!