Home Education President Hitt Says Goodbye to UCF

President Hitt Says Goodbye to UCF

John C. Hitt announced his plans to retire from his role as the University of Central Florida president on Oct. 24, 2017, a decision that will be effective on June 30. As Hitt’s tenure comes to a close, let’s take a look back at how UCF has grown under his leadership.

President Hitt Says Goodbye to UCF

Retirement Is Near

John C. Hitt announced his plans to retire from his role as the University of Central Florida president on Oct. 24, 2017, a decision that will be effective on June 30. As Hitt’s tenure comes to a close, let’s take a look back at how UCF has grown under his leadership.

Hitt set five main goals when he arrived on campus on March 1, 1992. He wanted to offer the best undergraduate education available in Florida, achieve international prominence in key programs of graduate study and research, provide an international focus to UCF’s curricula and research programs, become more inclusive and diverse, and be the country’s leading partnership university.

“I am convinced that if UCF achieves these goals, it will be America’s leading metropolitan university, and, even more importantly, we will be a vital force in Central Florida’s development as the nation’s most dynamic, vibrant regional economy,” he said at the time.

A Job Well Done

What began as ideas eventually became realities through Hitt’s commitment to transforming UCF into one of the largest universities in the country. In his 26 years as president, the university launched more than $1 billion in new construction with projects that included an arena, a student union center, regional campuses and a community health center, among others.

Other notable projects included the UCF College of Medicine in Lake Nona, a research-based medical school that was established in 2006 to teach the next generation of doctors using high-tech learning tools and modern innovation. In 2007, the UCF Knights football team moved into its new on-campus home at Spectrum Stadium, which was named Bright House Networks Stadium when it was built, after playing at the Florida Citrus Bowl for 28 seasons. Looking ahead, UCF Downtown is scheduled to open next fall for 7,700 students in more than 20 academic programs.  

At the start of Hitt’s presidency, UCF’s enrollment was ranked fifth in Florida and 115th in the nation. It has since tripled, making UCF the largest university in Florida and one of the largest in the United States.

Faith In Leadership

“Making this decision now provides the best opportunity for our momentum to continue,” Hitt said at a press conference announcing his retirement. “I know that our leadership team, including our trustees, vice presidents and deans, will continue turning big dreams into reality.”

Hitt stressed that he made his decision to retire in good health and that he has never felt better about the future of UCF. But once a Knight, always a Knight. He will continue working to advance UCF’s philanthropic, community and partnership goals as president emeritus, even in retirement.

Hitt’s Presidency By the Numbers

26 years serving as UCF president   

262,858 degrees awarded to students, the most conferred by any president in State University System of Florida history

53 percent increase in degree programs, from 141 in 1992 to 216 in 2018

211 percent increase in enrollment, from 21,267 students in 1992 to 66,180 students in 2018

 

Comments

Lyndsay Fogarty Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

X