Leaders react to UCF President Dale Whittaker's resignation

Politicians wish Whittaker the best

Trevor Colbourn Hall at UCF (Photo by Nick Leyva, UCF class of 2015)
Trevor Colbourn Hall at UCF (Photo by Nick Leyva, UCF class of 2015)

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Tuesday, University of Central Florida President Dale Whittaker submitted his resignation in a move designed to restore the public's trust in the school after it was discovered that university officials misused millions of dollars.

Whittaker insists that he acted with integrity and did not know that using $38 million in education and general funds to build Trevor Colbourn Hall was improper. Still, he told the campus community that he believed new leadership would be best for the school moving forward.

As news spread, elected officials and local leaders offered their take on the issue. Below are their responses:

Speaker of the Florida House Jose Oliva
"Today, President Whittaker took a major step towards repairing the relationship between UCF and the legislature. While there are several who shoulder more of the blame for the improper spending that occurred at UCF, President Whittaker knows, ultimate responsibility rests with the executive. I wish President Whittaker the best in his future endeavors."

Florida House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee Chairman Tom Leek
"I echo the sentiments of the Speaker and reaffirm our commitment as an investigative committee to leave no stone unturned in seeking the facts and holding the right people accountable. I believe President Whittaker was placed in his position at an inopportune time and much of what occurred was already underway. But as the speaker said, ultimate responsibility rests with the executive. President Whittaker, as the leader of the University, recognized that reality and is stepping down for the good of the institution. We wish him all the best for the future."

Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando)
"President Whittaker resigned to protect @UCF," Eskamani tweeted. "My only hope is that the Florida Legislature moves on from attacking UCF & instead applies the same passion for transparency to private corporations, too. To my family of Knights: stay strong and united. We will get through this."

UCF board of trustees chairman Robert Garvy
“In his offer to resign, Dr. Whittaker is putting the interests of our students and the University above his own.Dale has served this university with distinction since his arrival as provost in 2014 and his selection as president in 2018. His record of achievements, personal integrity, leadership, engagement, and insistence on the highest standards of personal conduct have been recognized and admired throughout our institution, the 68,000 students we serve and the Central Florida community.”

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