About the Provost
Dr. A. Dale Whittaker, Provost and Executive Vice President
A. Dale Whittaker serves as the University of Central Florida’s second-highest ranking officer of the university. He provides academic leadership for UCF’s 13 colleges, multiple campuses and research centers and institutes. Whittaker also oversees academic support support services, and he is responsible for curriculum, academic planning, faculty appointments, faculty development and promotion and tenure decisions.
Whittaker joined UCF as its Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in August 2014. Nearly a year later, he was promoted by UCF President John C. Hitt to Provost and Executive Vice President.
Before coming to Orlando, Whittaker served in multiple faculty and leadership positions at Purdue and Texas A&M universities. He served as Purdue’s acting vice president for student affairs and was vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs since 2010. He also is a professor of agricultural and biological engineering.
“Dr. Whittaker has provided UCF with his experience, expertise and enthusiasm,” says President Hitt. “He has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, thoughtfully managed a complex budget and successfully implemented new academic programs and policies.”
Since arriving at UCF, Whittaker has overseen a reorganization of Academic Affairs, the hiring of 200 new faculty members, the development of a UCF Downtown campus and a new interdisciplinary Faculty Cluster Initiative to promote innovative scholarship across the university.
“I’m deeply committed to lifting lives and livelihoods through knowledge,” Whittaker says. “Our core mission as a university is knowledge, and the impact is advancing people’s lives economically and socially for generations. What I bring to this job is a passionate commitment to that mission and high levels of energy and engagement.”
Hitt and Whittaker previously worked together at the University Innovation Alliance, a coalition of 11 prestigious research universities working together to expand students’ access to higher education. Institutions joining Purdue and UCF in the coalition include Arizona State, Michigan State and Ohio State universities.
Although most of the participants are university presidents, Hitt said Whittaker “stood out as someone who had a depth of knowledge and deep understanding” of higher education and “who was committed to helping the alliance focus on its principal goal of finding cost-effective ways to produce more graduates at our universities.”
Whittaker said his goals include increasing research, expanding opportunities for graduate students and creating deeper and wider partnerships across and beyond the university.
“UCF is an economic engine for and a mirror of the Central Florida community,” he said. “It’s a great reflector of the community’s needs and its future economic development. You can see that through programs such as optics and photonics, digital media, hospitality management and the College of Medicine.”
Whittaker holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Purdue and a bachelor’s degree in the same field from Texas A&M.
He lives in Orlando with his wife, Mary, and he enjoys playing the harmonica and rowing.