Parker Executive Search firm has been selected to assist with the university’s search for its next visionary leader.

The Atlanta-based firm was chosen by Marcos Marchena, UCF Board of Trustees chairman, after the Presidential Search Committee last week recommended three firms out of eight that submitted proposals.

Parker Executive Search will help find the most qualified candidates to succeed John C. Hitt, who has been UCF’s president for more than 25 years and who will retire from the position on June 30.

The Presidential Search Committee is made up of trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, community leaders, a parent and a member of the Florida Board of Governors. The committee is responsible for recommending finalist candidates to the UCF Board of Trustees.

Marchena stressed to the committee during its first meeting last week the importance of selecting a candidate who will stay true to UCF’s culture of innovation, diversity, partnerships and inclusivity.

“Only an inclusive search will produce the best results and will ensure UCF’s momentum continues,” he said. “It’s not a hyperbole to say that this committee’s work represents one of the most important tasks this university has faced.”

At the first committee meeting, UCF unveiled a video that outlines what qualities the Board of Trustees is seeking in a new president. The qualities also are described in a leadership statement that the trustees approved earlier this year.

It’s the goal of the committee and Marchena to have UCF’s next president selected and confirmed no later than June 30. That timeline includes the required confirmation from the Florida Board of Governors following the UCF Board of Trustees’ vote.

All of the finalists will hold public forums as part of their campus visits so that faculty, staff, students and the community can meet them. The Board of Trustees also will interview all of the finalists during public meetings.

The next Presidential Search Committee meeting will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in the UCF Global building. Committee members will meet with Parker Executive Search representatives to discuss the search process. The meeting is open to the public, and it will be streamed live online.

For more information, or to watch any of the committee meetings, visit the Presidential Search Committee website.