About the Provost
Dr. A. Dale Whittaker
A. Dale Whittaker became the University of Central Florida’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on Aug. 1.
Whittaker has served in multiple faculty and leadership positions at Purdue and Texas A&M universities. He most recently served as Purdue’s acting vice president for student affairs and was vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs since 2010. He is also a professor of agricultural and biological engineering.
UCF President John C. Hitt praised Whittaker’s “tremendous range and depth of experience in large and excellent universities.”
“He is a professional who will help us become better in all areas of our operation and help us develop excellent educational programs that will meet the needs of Central Florida, the state and nation,” Hitt said.
During Whittaker’s two visits to UCF during the interview process, he was impressed with the vitality and diversity of the student body, as well as the energy and loyalty that he felt throughout the campus.
“I’m deeply committed to lifting lives and livelihoods through knowledge,” he said. “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 have 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.
To view Whittaker’s CV, click here.