ORLANDO, Fla. – After nearly a year of searching the University of Central Florida has selected Dr. Alexander Cartwright, currently a chancellor of the University of Missouri, to become UCF’s sixth president.
The UCF Board of Trustees announced Friday it had selected Cartwright over another finalist, based on his “proven experience as a leader both in Missouri and previously as provost and executive vice chancellor for the State University of New York," according to a statement.
UCF has been searching for a new president since last May when former President Dale Whittaker resigned. Whittaker stepped down, he said, in order to renew trust between UCF and the Florida Legislature in the wake of the school’s misuse of $38 million on building construction.
The university’s search for a president included 20 listening sessions and open forums held across UCF’s campuses with students, faculty and staff members, alumni and community members, according to a news release.
UCF’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Cartwright as the university’s new top leader.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to be a part of a university that looks like the future of America,” Cartwright said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to build on a metropolitan research university with an ecosystem of industry partnership and a diverse student body of almost 70,000 students. That to me is extremely exciting.”
The board’s pick will now go to a confirmation vote by the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System. Due to the coronavirus outbreak that meeting will happen virtually on March 25.
According to a news release, Cartwright’s “educational journey began with earning a GED and attending community college while working at Stuckey’s and cleaning hog pens to help pay for classes.”
Cartwright and his wife, Melinda, have two children.