As you know, President Hitt shared his plans on Tuesday to retire as president effective June 30, 2018. As I said at his announcement event, in terms of impact, integrity and longevity, there has never been a university president like John Hitt.

There’s John — turn the page — and then everyone else.

As we celebrate President Hitt’s achievements over the next several months, I expect all of us will consult a thesaurus to find new words for excellent, outstanding and unprecedented to describe his legacy.

Now, the important work of finding UCF’s next president begins. As Chairman of the UCF Board of Trustees, I will lead the search process. I promise this will be a comprehensive, transparent and inclusive search.

Although we are just beginning the process, there are some details I want to share now:

  • We will form a search committee of up to 15 individuals that will include members of the UCF Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors, as well as representatives from the faculty, staff, student body, alumni and Central Florida community.
  • I have named Trustee David Walsh as the search committee chairman and Trustee Beverly Seay as vice-chair. I also have asked Trustee Bill Yeargin to serve on the committee.  
  • After I review recommendations from faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders, I will name the full search committee no later than Nov. 15.
  • To ensure we follow university and state policies for searches, and to provide open and timely communications, I have directed Scott Cole, vice president and General Counsel, and Grant Heston, vice president for Communications and Marketing, to assist the committee and board during the search. To be clear, these are non-voting roles.
  • I also have asked Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Robert Garvy to lead a task force of university leaders to plan Dr. Hitt’s transition activities and to develop the welcome agenda for the new president. The university’s Communications and Marketing division will support Vice Chairman Garvy’s efforts.
  • My goal is to have a new president selected by the UCF Board of Trustees and confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors no later than June 30.


    Marcos Marchena

    Chairman, UCF Board of Trustees