ORLANDO, Fla. – University of Central Florida President Dale Whittaker, who has been at the school's helm for less than a year, submitted his resignation Tuesday amid controversy over the institution's misuse of funds.
In a letter posted on the school's website, Whittaker wrote that he believes stepping down and allowing new leadership to take over is the best move for students and the university as a whole.
"I have never wavered in my efforts to completely address every aspect of these challenges," Whittaker wrote. "However, despite my work to find and solve these problems, it has been made clear to me that for UCF to succeed with our state leaders in the future, new leadership is required."
Late last year, it was discovered that the school misused $38 million for the construction of the newly opened Trevor Colbourn Hall. An independent investigation found that Whittaker and members of the Board of Trustees did not know that they were acting improperly by using education and general funds for construction.
Since the controversy, the school's vice president for administration and finance, chief financial officer and board of trustees chairman have left their roles.
The board of trustees will hold a meeting to consider whether to accept Whittaker's resignation. The date and time of that meeting has not yet been determined.
Whittaker was sworn in as president on July 1, succeeding John Hitt, who served in the role for 26 years. Prior to that, Whittaker served as provost and executive vice president.
In his resignation letter submitted to the new board of trustees chairman, Robert Garvy, Whittaker wrote that he believes stepping down is the final step necessary for the school to regain the public's trust.
"I do so (resign) with the conviction that I have always acted with integrity and honesty, and with optimism that the relationship between UCF and the legislature can be renewed," Whittaker wrote.
University officials have not said how they will go about finding a new president if Whittaker's resignation is accepted.
Click here to read Whittaker's full resignation letter.