This statement was approved by the UFF-UCF Council on January 31,2022.
The UFF-UCF council is alarmed with President Cartwright’s decision to unilaterally appoint Michael Johnson to the position of Provost.
The absence of a national search denies the university community an opportunity for dialogue and input for a critical position at the university. The appointment of a Provost without faculty input disregards those who rely on that officer’s leadership to uphold the integrity of our academic mission. And it abandons shared governance.
A university is stronger when faculty perspectives and expertise are consulted on matters related to the institution’s core academic mission. When the chief academic officer–no matter how qualified for the position–is unilaterally appointed by the President rather than selected in a process that requires broad faculty input, the appointee regrettably becomes tainted. The autocratic means by which this selection took place creates the impression that the office holder will be accountable to the President alone and not also to those who carry out the academic mission which he oversees. Further, it sullies the public image of UCF at a time when universities in Florida are already under scrutiny by the public as well as accrediting institutions. And it undermines UCF’s stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.