When I first started at UCF, I believed we had the potential to become one of the nation’s and the world’s leading public metropolitan research universities. Today, after almost six months, it is even more clear that we have the tenacity and, most importantly, the talent to achieve this.
Even with the unprecedented challenges of the past several months, UCF continues to excel as one of the nation’s most innovative schools, setting records for research and academic achievement. Our shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and a stronger campus climate and culture will enable future improvements.
Based on the strong foundation you have built transforming hundreds of thousands of lives, it is now critical that we begin to collectively consider our future and what we want next for UCF, our region and our state.
To that end, I invite you to share your thoughts with me starting next week, as we host a series of conversations with faculty and staff from each college and division as well as student leaders across campus about our future and how we will get there. Dates and times of these meetings will be shared as they are scheduled.
People drive our impact and define our university. Although much has been said about UCF’s size, being big is not our goal. Instead, we take pride in working together to help all of our students succeed, conduct innovative research and creative activities and find new ways to serve our community.
We already are on a path to becoming a top 50 public research university, which we will achieve by leveraging our academic strengths, location, partnerships and — most of all — our people. After meeting with many of you, it is clear UCF’s path will not be defined by what other universities have done. It will be based on our own unique strengths and character.
To do this, we must commit to academic, operational and inclusive excellence in areas that matter most to our future and are critical to our mission, such as strengthening our academic and administrative infrastructure and our culture.
Important efforts are underway to realign resources so that we can strategically invest in hiring; research; and diversity, equity and inclusion programs and to build a strong leadership team across the institution.
Our upcoming conversations also will be an opportunity for us to discuss how we will lead with the compassion, caring, versatility and adaptability UCF is known for. We are a university built around a commitment to each other and a desire to make our world, and the work we do, continuously better.
Together, we have an incredible opportunity to be an institution that is equally committed to academic excellence and empowering our students, faculty and staff at all levels to realize their fullest potential. I look forward to building that with you.
President Alexander N. Cartwright