Restored state funding vital to UCF’s future

By Tony Waldrop, UCF Provost and Executive Vice President

Thanks to all our dedicated staff and faculty members, our students will enjoy countless opportunities this year to make significant contributions in the classroom, in research labs and studios, in our community – and maybe even in another galaxy.

This summer, graduate students Kevin Stevenson and Nate Lust along with Professor Joseph Harrington discovered UCF’s first planet. Named UCF 1.01, the exoplanet is two-thirds the size of Earth and about 33 light years away. 

This story is just one of the thousands of success stories your hard work makes possible. And your success extends outside of the classroom and into our community.

For instance, I am thankful that so many of you joined me in the fight against heart disease on September 15 at the Greater Orlando Heart Walk at Loch Haven Park. We expect to exceed our $40,000 fund-raising goal while enjoying a fantastic event that helps fight cardiovascular diseases, which claim more than 800,000 American lives per year.

Future Funding Issues

We begin our fall semester with about 60,000 students, one of the most talented freshman classes in UCF history and a university-record 241 National Merit Scholars enrolled.

At UCF, we are fortunate to have world-class facilities and abundant opportunities for learning. Our greatest asset, however, is the enthusiastic support of students, employees, fans, alumni and others. But it takes more than talent, dedication and goodwill to keep UCF running.

The fact is that our state has reduced its support for UCF by 49 percent – nearly $150 million – during the past five years.

Thanks to your tireless efforts, we have succeeded at tightening our belt and doing more with less. But that’s not a sustainable way to operate a university. And that’s why it is so important that our state legislators do what they promised and restore and augment state support for Florida’s public universities, including UCF.

With restored and new funds, our top priority will be to hire more faculty members. We recognize this great need and are dedicated to building our academic enterprise with additional faculty members. Simply put, we need our state’s financial support to remain a leader in research, innovation and academic success.

State of the University Address

For more information about the future of our university, I invite you to join President Hitt on Tuesday, September 25, at 3 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union for his annual State of the University Address.

President Hitt will discuss opportunities and challenges at UCF along with his vision for the university’s future. His address will be followed by remarks from Dr. Ida Cook, chair of the Faculty Senate, and Cortez Whatley, president of the Student Government Association.

Doors for the event will open at 2:30 p.m. A reception will be held after the remarks.

Thank you for serving our students so well every day, and best wishes for a great semester.

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