ORLANDO, March 21, 2019 – The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees today unanimously voted Thad Seymour, Jr. the university’s interim president until a permanent president is named. Seymour was initially selected on Feb. 21 to serve as short-term interim president after President Dale Whittaker resigned.
The Board of Trustees’ decision is subject to confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors, which is expected to consider Seymour’s appointment at a March 28 meeting.
“During these past few weeks, Dr. Seymour has provided much-needed stability and leadership,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Garvy. “Dr. Seymour was selected because of his exceptional background, both in business and academia, and his impactful work at UCF to date. He has helped to move us forward and provided a thoughtful and steady hand during this important time of healing.”
UCF’s search for a new president is anticipated to begin in the fall, with the goal of selecting a new president in early 2020. The new president would likely start during the summer of 2020. The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss more details about the selection process in the coming months.
“Everyone I talk with is committed to making this a better place. And that’s why I am so optimistic about UCF’s future,” said Seymour. “We have some hard work ahead of us. But, I know we will do it together. If my years in business taught me anything, it’s to use each challenge as an opportunity to be better, stronger and more effective than you were before.”
Seymour has been with UCF since 2015, most recently serving as vice president for partnerships and chief innovation officer. Prior to joining UCF, he had a successful three-decade business career in Central Florida that included leading strategic planning and business development for Lake Nona Medical City as senior vice president at Tavistock.
Settlement with Former President Whittaker:
Trustees today voted unanimously to provide a settlement to Whittaker in the form of a one-time payment of $600,000. All funding will come from private, non-state dollars. Whittaker is a tenured professor, and as president, he has the right to a buyout of the present value of that tenure. The present value of his tenure rights is $3.2 million. The settlement amounts to less than 20 percent of the value of his tenure rights. Whittaker has agreed to the settlement terms.
Performance Pay for President Emeritus Hitt:
Trustees also voted to terminate further performance payments for President Emeritus John C. Hitt, who was president during the planning and construction of Trevor Colbourn Hall. The action includes a previously suspended payment and two future payments. All three payments would have together totaled approximately $330,000.