Provost A. Dale Whittaker, a highly respected leader who is approaching the completion of his first year at the University of Central Florida, has been promoted to provost and executive vice president.

“Dr. Whittaker has provided UCF with his experience, expertise, and enthusiasm,” said President John C. Hitt, who announced the promotion Tuesday. “He has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, thoughtfully managed a complex budget, and successfully implemented new academic programs and policies.”

The provost is the second-highest ranking officer of the university. He provides academic leadership for the university’s 13 colleges, multiple campuses, and research centers and institutes. He oversees academic support services and student services, and he is responsible for curriculum, academic planning, faculty appointments, faculty development, and promotion and tenure decisions.

Whittaker joined UCF as provost in August 2014 after serving as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs at Purdue University. In that position, he was responsible for 520 full-time equivalent employees and $93 million in recurring funding.

He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Purdue University and a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

This fall, UCF will enroll more than 61,000 students, and the academic quality of the student body continues to increase every year. The university has more than 10,000 staff and faculty members, and external contract and grant funding totaled $145.6 million in 2013-14.

UCF has been named one of the nation’s “best value” colleges and universities this year by The Princeton Review, Kiplinger, and Forbes Magazine.