John Hitt

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John C. Hitt
John Hitt portrait.jpg
4th President of the University of Central Florida
Assumed office
March 1, 1992 (1992-03-01)
Preceded by Robert A. Bryan (acting)
Personal details
Born (1940-12-07) December 7, 1940 (age 76)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Spouse(s) Martha Hitt (m. 1961)
Children Two
Residence Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Alma mater Austin College (B.A)
Tulane University (M.S. & Ph.D.)
Profession Professor
Website Office of the President
The John C. Hitt Library, with the Reflection Pond in the foreground

John C. Hitt (born December 7, 1940) is an American professor and academic administrator, serving as the fourth and current president of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida since 1992.[1] Hitt was named the Orlando Sentinel's Central Floridian of the Year in 2005, and has twice been ranked as Orlando's most powerful person by Orlando Magazine. Hitt is currently the dean of Florida's university presidents, serving as the longest tenured president in the state.[2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Raised in Houston, Texas, Hitt graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. He continued his education at Tulane University, where he completed both his Master of Science and his Ph.D. by 1966. He would stay at Tulane, where his career as an assistant professor began. In 1969, Hitt moved to Texas Christian University, working as an associate professor of psychology. Three years later, he became associate dean of the university, and in 1974, he became vice president of the school's Research Foundation and soon after dean of the graduate school.

After serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology at Bradley University in Illinois for ten years, he moved to the University of Maine in 1987 as vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology. Four years later he was named interim president of the school before accepting the presidency at the University of Central Florida.[1]

University of Central Florida Presidency[edit]

Hitt was selected by the Florida Board of Regents to succeed Robert A. Bryan as UCF's president. Bryan had been serving in an interim capacity since June 1991 when Steven Altman stepped down as the university's third president.[4]

Upon taking office in Spring 1992, UCF's enrollment was 20,302, and as of Fall 2013 enrollment consists of 59,770 students representing over 140 countries, all 50 states and the District of Columbia.[5] Under the direction of Hitt, UCF has raised admissions standards, increased research funding, built new facilities, and established notable partnerships with major research institutions.[6]

Hitt's efforts have resulted in not only an increase in the university's academic profile, but also more than $1 billion in new construction, including Spectrum Stadium, the CFE Arena, and new on-campus housing. Hitt was instrumental in the development of the UCF College of Medicine at Lake Nona, and the formation of the Burnett Honors College, and the College of Graduate Studies. Under his leadership UCF has become a "very high research activity" university as ranked by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the university's football program ascended to Division I-A (FBS) in 1996 and joined the American Athletic Conference (The American).[7]

In October 2011, Hitt accepted a five-year contract extension.[8] In 2012, the main campus library was renamed in honor of Hitt, who at the time was celebrating his twentieth anniversary as university president.[9] Hitt's tenure has not been without controversy. In 2012, Hitt accepted a 6 percent raise, while offering faculty a raise of a half percent in 2013. [10]


  1. ^ a b Meet the President University of Central Florida Office of the President.
  2. ^ "UCF's Hitt among nation's 10 highest-paid public-university presidents". Orlando Sentinel. 2011-04-03. 
  3. ^ Maxwell, Scott (2008-12-29). "Who is the most powerful person in Central Florida?". Orlando Sentinel. 
  4. ^ University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections, Robert A. Bryan Biographical Note. Retrieved February 17, 2012
  5. ^ "Enrollment 2013-2014". University of Central Florida. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  6. ^ UCF chief gets top pay in Florida St. Petersburg Times.
  7. ^ "Carnegie Classifications - Institution Profile: University of Central Florida". The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  8. ^ "President Hitt talks to UCF students in State of the University Address". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  9. ^ "New Library Name a 'Hitt' with UCF Board of Trustees". University of Central Florida. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  10. ^ "UCF President John Hitt gets raise, bonus". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Steven Altman
Fourth President of the
University of Central Florida

Succeeded by