For nearly two years, we planned for a campus in downtown Orlando. Now that these plans are approved, we enter a new phase in this game-changing project.

That means building on what our strong planning team has achieved so far, and bringing in a new leader to help UCF Downtown transform our community for decades to come.

A respected leader and strategist, Thad Seymour, Jr. has been named our new Vice Provost for UCF Downtown. Thad joined in Fall 2015 as the senior advisor to our Collective Impact Strategic Planning process, which will help set UCF’s trajectory for the next 20 years.

With that plan expected to be complete this summer, Thad will transition his focus in the coming months to the downtown campus, where he will manage the project and push for innovation in everything from construction to classroom teaching. With our downtown program leaders, Thad will help develop strategic partnerships with academia, industry and public agencies to make this new campus a national model for higher education innovation.

No stranger to transformational projects in Orlando, Thad previously led strategic planning and business development for Lake Nona Medical City as senior vice president at Tavistock Development Company. While there, he developed a range of national and international partnerships, including recruiting Florida Blue and the United States Tennis Association. He also served as president of the Lake Nona Institute and co-founded the Lake Nona Impact Forum, which annually attracts thought leaders from around the world.

As our new Vice Provost, Thad will not replace any academic leadership at the downtown campus. He will take a holistic approach to developing this 21st-century urban learning hub with our UCF and Valencia colleagues, the City of Orlando and other partners. At UCF Downtown, we will do things different — from leadership to learning — to make the greatest impact on our community.

Thad will join the UCF Downtown team of Senior Associate Vice President Fred Kittinger, Assistant Vice President Paul Lartonoix and Project Manager Mike Kilbride, along with faculty and staff from the programs that will relocate downtown.

Please join me in congratulating Thad and our UCF Downtown team, and follow the latest news this summer on the UCF Downtown website.

Our ‘Collective Impact’

Since October 2015, Thad has led an outstanding strategic planning process. More than 800 UCF faculty, staff, students and leadership, as well as community members, officials and business leaders have contributed to the plan. As a result, our Collective Impact plan reflects a diversity of voices, disciplines and actions to position UCF as a pacesetter among universities nationally.

I encourage you to learn more about the strategic plan and how it will shape UCF’s future. Once approved by our Board of Trustees, we will begin implementing the recommended strategies and communicating with you frequently about your involvement and our progress.

Thank you for your commitment to transforming lives every day, and I look forward to continuing to update you on both the downtown campus and our strategic plan.

A. Dale Whittaker, Provost and Executive Vice President