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University Of Central Florida Names Its First African American Woman Provost

University Of Central Florida Names Its First African American Woman Provost

Photo: University of Central Florida

For the first time since opening its doors in 1968, the University of Central Florida has its first African American and first woman provost, Elizabeth Dooley, reports the Sun Sentinel.

Dooley, 61, was officially promoted to provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs last month after serving as interim provost since April. Before then, she worked at UCF as the vice provost for teaching and learning and the dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies.

Prior to coming to UCF in 2015, Dooley spent 25 years at West Virginia University. While there, she worked as the associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs, the founding dean of the University College and the interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services.

Dooley’s new appointment at UCF comes at a time when the university is trying to diversify its faculty with more members of color. In 2016, nearly 75 percent of the university’s fully tenured faculty members were white, according to the Orlando Sentinel. That same year, just two of the university’s professors were black women.

"I am deeply honored and humbled that President Whittaker, faculty, staff and students have put their faith in me to serve as provost at the greatest university in the world," Dooley said in a news release. “The extraordinary support I have received as interim provost has been amazing, and I look forward to continuing to work each day to help achieve our university’s goal of becoming America’s 21st-century preeminent university.”

In a statement posted on the school’s website, the university’s president, Dale Whittaker, congratulated Dooley on her new position and said, "She will help UCF set the pace for what it means to be a model in the 21st century, driving talent and ideas as one of the nation’s top 10 most innovative universities."