After evaluating raised concerns over UCF’s funding problems, the Board of Trustees members decided to revise the list of qualities for the next president at its first meeting at Millican Hall on Friday.
Since the last fall semester, a total of 18 listening sessions were held on the main campus, the downtown campus and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management to collect opinions from students and faculty.
Alberto Pimentel, the representative of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, an executive search services firm that has been helping UCF find its next president, summarized the list of essential skills that future candidates should have at the meeting.
"Among the most important skill sets that were discussed was the need for the next president to have a bold vision for the future," Pimentel said.
Pimentel said that people should want the next president to have a vision that includes addressing issues, such as the size of the university, the research requirements and programs that should be offered.
Other requirements that Pimentel listed were: having a leader who is inspirational, visible and approachable while committing to diversity and knowing how to build a team. He also said he believed the next president should have the ability to motivate staff and unite faculty to bring a better teaching environment to the university.
"The faculty and staff are fatigued," Pimentel said. "They are tired, they don't know how they fit into the overall direction of the university. So, that third piece of bringing faculty and staff along is going to be challenging for whoever comes in."
Pimental said that the next president should focus on the students, and the president should pay attention to the students' dynamics.
"All activities need to enhance the students’ experience, need to provide high-quality instruction, and need to benefit the students in the best way," Pimentel said. "Student-centric approach becomes pivotal."
President and CEO of Consulate Health Care Joseph Conte was appointed to become a trustee in 2015. He raised his concerns over the funding problems that UCF has been experiencing for the last two years at the meeting.
He said the next president should pay attention to the university's finances as well as its students.
"While making students a priority, we are grossly underfunded in this university," Conte said. "Mostly, everything listed here is about finance and economics, and that needs to be understood by candidates."
Pimentel said he would revise the list of qualities according to Conte's thoughts and would educate future candidates about the funding problems and what the future strategies can be.
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates is currently finalizing all documents and continuing the recruitment. Pimentel said the firm expects 40 to 50 individuals to apply and 8 to 10 candidates will face questions about funding and other concerns during the upcoming interviews in the next few months.