UCF appoints black woman as provost for first time ever

Elizabeth Dooley says she's 'deeply honored and humbled' to serve in position

UCF provost Elizabeth Dooley
UCF provost Elizabeth Dooley

ORLANDO, Fla. – For the first time in the school's 55-year history, a black woman will serve as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Central Florida.

UCF President Dale Whittaker, who formerly served in the position before replacing John Hitt as the school's president, announced the appointment of Elizabeth Dooley, who had been serving as in the position on an interim basis, on Wednesday.

Dooley came to the university in 2015 after spending 25 years at West Virginia University where she served as associate provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the founding dean of the University College, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services and department chair of Curriculum Instruction/Literacy Studies and Special Education.        

 “I am deeply honored and humbled that President Whittaker, faculty, staff and students have put their faith in me to serve as provost at the greatest university in the world,” Dooley said. “The extraordinary support I have received as interim provost has been amazing, and I look forward to continuing to work each day to help achieve our university’s goal of becoming America’s 21st-century preeminent university.”

As provost, Dooley will oversee the school's 13 academic colleges, campuses and research intuitions as well as be responsible for curriculum, academic planning, faculty appointments, faculty development, promotion and tenure decisions, according to the university.

Whitaker described Dooley as someone who is dedicated to providing the leadership necessary to help the university continue on its path forward.

"Deeply committed to academic excellence, Elizabeth understands the critical role that higher education plays in shaping Florida’s future. As provost, she will help UCF set the pace for what it means to be a model for the 21st century, driving talent and ideas as one of the nation’s top 10 most innovative universities," Whitaker said.

Dooley holds a doctorate of education and a master's degree in education from WVU and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Alderson Broaddus College.

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