UCF President Dale Whittaker has decided to terminate four university administrators, according to a Friday morning announcement.
The firings come on the tail end of an investigation conducted by an independent law firm that found multiple university leaders and faculty members played a role in the decision to use funds from an inappropriate source to construct Trevor Colbourn Hall.
Whittaker described a “broken culture” that led to the $38 million in state education and general funds being used for the construction project.
In all, Whittaker admitted that $85 million of projects were “either built, or planned to be built, with inappropriate funds.”
“I read the report carefully,” Whittaker said in a release. “...UCF’s core values were not embraced. Because this is a matter of culture — and not a singular problem — our solutions have to be comprehensive and reaffirm our values.”
In September 2018, UCF admitted to misusing state funds that were intended for educational purposes to pay for the construction of Trevor Colbourn Hall. The Board of Trustees subsequently hired the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner third-party law firm to provide an internal investigation.
After reading the independent report, Whittaker wrote that he knew about the funding source used for Trevor Colbourn Hall, but emphasized he did not know that using these funds were improper.
Whittaker did not directly name the four administrators who were fired, but stated that they worked in the Administration and Finance division.
NSM Today obtained documents regarding the findings of the law firm’s three-month investigation ahead of a special Board of Trustees meeting, which took place Friday afternoon at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center, to discuss the report’s findings.
“We understand the scope of what happened, we accept responsibility for it … and, frankly, we’re embarrassed by it,” Whittaker said.