UCF names Seymour as long-term interim president

The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees on Thursday named Thad Seymour, Jr. as their long-term interim president, until a permanent leader is hired.

Seymour has been serving as UCF's short-term president since the resignation of President Dale Whittaker on Feb. 21.  

RELATED: Board of Trustees accepts President Dale Whittaker's resignation

“Dr. Seymour is getting us back into the business of transforming lives and producing the talent and ideas that will drive Orlando and our state forward,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Garvy in a university press release. 

Seymour said he would serve at interim president if offered the position.

“UCF has a very bright future ahead of it,” Seymour said. “I am 100 percent committed to working with our talented faculty and staff to make us stronger and better equipped to serve our students and community.”

Seymour, who is currently UCF’s Vice President for Partnerships and Chief Innovation Officer, has worked for the university since 2015. 

Whittaker resigned last month to appease state lawmakers and education officials upset about the school using tens of millions of dollars in operating funds to pay for construction in violation of state rules.

The board has agreed to pay Whittaker a one-time payment of $600,000, as part of a departure settlement.  The school said in a statement that the payment would come from private funding, not state dollars.

UCF trustees voted to end payments worth $330,000 to Whittaker's predecessor, John Hitt, who was president when operating money was used to construct a building for classrooms and study rooms.