Today is a difficult day for UCF. Board of Trustees Chairman Marcos Marchena and I shared with the Board of Governors — the body that oversees the State University System — that UCF used inappropriate funds to construct the new Trevor Colbourn Hall.

This decision was made several years ago; however, as president, I am committed to always acting with integrity and immediately taking action to resolve important issues.

From what we know so far, clear information about funding sources for Trevor Colbourn Hall was not shared with university leadership and our Board of Trustees. Therefore, we’ve launched an external review to examine our process, procedures and personnel concerning how we finance facilities.

The group leading the investigation, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, is one of the top firms in the country specializing in corporate internal investigations. We do not have a previous relationship with the firm, as I want a “fresh set of eyes” on this issue. Representatives of the firm will visit campus next week.

The external reviewers will work with the UCF Board of Trustees Audit and Compliance Committee and our full Board to ensure that this does not happen again. In doing so, we also will share what we learn and opportunities for improvement with our state university partners and the Board of Governors.

In terms of immediate actions, we have corrected the funding with Trevor Colbourn Hall. And our Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer has stepped down, effective today.

I have appointed Misty Shepherd, associate vice president and CFO at the UCF Foundation, as interim vice president for Administration and Finance. Misty has been with UCF since 2008 and CFO of the UCF Foundation since 2014.

Additionally, I have appointed Kathy Mitchell, associate director of University Audit, to serve as interim CFO. Prior to joining UCF in 1999, Kathy worked for the auditor general for three years.
Both Kathy and Misty will report directly to me.

Unexpected change like this is difficult. As I told the Board of Governors this morning, most partnerships are made when times are good. But the best partnerships — the ones that endure — are made when times are difficult.

My promise to you is that we will work through these issues together in a transparent and collaborative way. I appreciate your partnership in ensuring that we always pursue our mission of serving students and our community with integrity.