Citing a “robust national interest” in the UCF presidency, the UCF Presidential Search Committee today outlined a process that will have a new president confirmed by the end of March.

David Walsh, a member of the UCF Board of Trustees and chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, said now is the time to start interviewing candidates.

“Our committee promised a comprehensive, transparent and inclusive search, and we are delivering on that promise,” Walsh said. “Now it’s time for us to start our most important task: identifying the best candidates to succeed President Hitt.”

Laurie C. Wilder, president of Parker Executive Search, the firm assisting the committee, reported to the committee on progress made in identifying candidates.

“This opening is viewed as a fantastic opportunity at a well-respected university,” Wilder said. “There is robust national interest in UCF and the position, which means we’re ready to move forward to the next phase of the search.”

Wilder also said Florida’s open records and meetings laws result in many candidates waiting until the last minute to apply. From conversations she has had with potential candidates, Wilder said she believes that will be the case with UCF’s search.

Key dates in the search timeline include:

  • Feb. 15: The committee will review applications and vote to invite up to 10 semifinalists for interviews.
  • Feb. 22-23: The committee will conduct interviews with each of the semifinalists. Following the final interview, the committee will vote to bring three to five finalists to campus.
  • March 1-8: Finalists will visit campus for two-day interviews. The visits will include individual and group meetings, as well as presentations by the finalists that will be open for the public to attend.
  • March 9: The UCF Board of Trustees will interview each of the finalists, after which the board will vote to name a president-elect.
  • March 28 or 29: The Florida Board of Governors will interview the president-elect and vote to confirm the selection.
  • All meetings of the search committee and Board of Trustees are open to the public.

    The Presidential Search Committee is made up of trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, community leaders, parents and a member of the Florida Board of Governors. The committee is responsible for recommending three to five finalists to the UCF Board of Trustees.

    Walsh noted that the committee recently hosted four listening sessions on campus and in the community to solicit feedback about the search. In addition to gathering in-person feedback, the committee created an online survey about the search that generated more than 1,400 responses.

    On Oct. 24, 2017, President John C. Hitt announced his retirement from the presidency, effective June 30. He began his tenure March 1, 1992.

    “Replacing President Hitt is an enormous responsibility,” said Cristina Barreto, UCF Student Government Association vice president and member of the search committee. “I’ve been very pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, especially with how well the committee has listened to the voices of students, faculty, alumni and all of those connected to UCF.”