This day in UCF history
Today, John Hitt President of the University of Central Florida announced that he will be retiring after 25 years leading UCF. This announcement hit home. Specifically some of Dr. Hitt's comments about UCF under his leadership. As many of my friends and professional colleagues know, I am a first-generation college student. Neither of my parents and none of my siblings went to college. (They have all championed my path up and through the academic ladder.) This is significant to me because, under President Hitt's leadership, UCF shattered the idea that "Exclusivity is a virtue of higher education." This type of thinking is what allowed me and thousands like me access to higher education. In fact, inclusivity has allowed UCF to become one of the largest universities in the nation (66,000 students and growing) while retaining high academic standards (avg. GPA for students 4.05) and amazing research productivity (classified as an intensive research institution). When I taught at UCF, I taught students who were part of the UCF direct connect program. This program allows students who obtain an associates degree from a partner community college guaranteed admission into UCF. Politico called this program, "A seamless pipeline to social mobility." I'm really proud to have been a part of this program. Under Dr. Hitt's leadership, UCF has proven that innovation, inclusivity, and access to all does not equal compromise in academic standards. It means opportunity. Thank you, Dr. Hitt, for your service and leadership. UCF is a great place to call my Alma Mater.