UCF President Dale Whittaker has hired retired Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr., a decorated Army veteran and former superintendent for the United States Military Academy at West Point, to lead change in the university’s administration and finance operations.
Caslen, a 43-year U.S. Army veteran, retired in June from West Point, where he developed a leadership program focusing on professional ethics, championed more diverse recruiting among cadets and faculty, and launched the Army Cyber Institute.
Before becoming West Point superintendent, Caslen served as the chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, where he was the senior military commander after the drawdown of U.S. and allied forces in 2011. Caslen also served as the commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He has held several other notable leadership positions in the U.S. Army infantry and airborne divisions.
“UCF will immediately benefit from Lt. General Caslen’s outstanding leadership and experience to build an organization that is a model for higher education.” — Dale Whittaker, UCF president
In his new role at UCF, Caslen will recommend and implement changes that come from several reports expected out later this month. Among them, UCF has hired the global management consulting firm Accenture to review its administration and finance organizational structure.
“As president, one of my priorities has been to ensure our university is operating effectively, efficiently and to the highest standard,” Whittaker says. “UCF will immediately benefit from Lt. General Caslen’s outstanding leadership and experience to build an organization that is a model for higher education and ensures we use our resources for their greatest purpose: furthering our academic excellence and the success of our students.”
Caslen will begin this temporary assignment on Jan. 9 as senior counsel to the president, and is expected to serve for up to eight months while UCF undergoes a national search for new administration and finance leadership. His role will focus on leading change, and the responsibility for day-to-day operations will remain with Misty Shepherd (interim vice president for Administration and Finance) and Kathy Mitchell (interim CFO).
“UCF is an exceptional institution with a strong foundation of excellence in everything it does. I have been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of its administration to build a better way forward,” Caslen says.