Vice President of Communications & Marketing Grant Heston has been "relieved of all duties" at UCF, according to a letter written by Interim President Thad Seymour to Heston obtained by NSM Today.
The letter, sent on Dec. 20, 2019, states that Heston will be receiving 60 days pay in lieu of notice. Heston is also required to turn in his keys and all other university property.
"Although many of you know, after 12 years at UCF, December was my last month," Heston wrote in a tweet on Jan. 3. "I leave with profound affection and appreciation for the UCF community, especially my wonderful friends and colleagues."
Although many of you know, after 12+ years at #UCF, December was my last month. I leave with profound affection and appreciation for the UCF community, especially my wonderful friends and colleagues. Being a Knight has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.— Grant J. Heston (@GrantJHeston) January 3, 2020
“Grant’s departure was a mutual decision," Seymour wrote in a statement about Heston. "I appreciate all he’s done for UCF and look forward to what he accomplishes next.”
In the email sent to university leadership, Communications & Marketing and the President’s Office staff last week, Seymour made clear that he is not going to make a hire for the vice president position now, nor name an interim vice president.
Instead, Seymour explained UCF Communications & Marketing and WUCF will report directly to Seymour and the departments will work with deputy chiefs of staff Tom Hope and Christine Dellert.
According to Seymour, not filling the role of Heston right away provides the next president "maximum flexibility to build the team," if he or she wants to.
Heston stated in an internal email to university leadership, Communications & Marketing and the President’s Office staff that his next professional adventure would be "finalized soon," and that he would be sharing those details upon completion.
“I’ve been blessed, truly blessed to work with exceptional colleagues," Heston wrote in the email. "Hands down, they are the hardest-working, most talented people I know."