Provost Tony Waldrop, a highly respected academic leader and researcher who recently completed his first year at the University of Central Florida, has been promoted to provost and executive vice president.

“Dr. Waldrop has provided UCF with his experience, expertise, and enthusiasm,” said President John C. Hitt, who announced the promotion Friday. “He has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, thoughtfully managed a difficult 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 12 colleges, multiple campuses, and research centers and institutes. He oversees academic support services and student services and is responsible for curriculum, academic planning, faculty appointments, faculty development and promotion and tenure decisions.

Waldrop joined UCF as provost in July 2010 after serving as vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In that position, he was responsible for 12 university-wide research support offices and 15 research centers.

He is a former vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has a B.A. in Political Science, an M.A. in Physical Education and a Ph.D. in Physiology, all from UNC.

UCF will enroll more than 58,000 students this fall, 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 research funding totaled $133.3 million in 2009-10.

UCF also has been named one of the nation’s “best value” colleges and universities this year by The Princeton Review, Kiplinger magazine and Forbes. UCF ranked 33rd on the Kiplinger list, which includes colleges that combine excellent economic value with an outstanding education.