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Ex-UCF president could get $600K settlement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees will meet Thursday to consider a proposed $600,000 settlement with Dale Whittaker, who stepped down as university president amid a scandal about improper spending by the university.

The board last week accepted Whittaker’s offer of resignation, which stemmed from investigations into the misuse of tens of millions of dollars in state operating funds.

The settlement includes $165,000 in a severance payment and $435,000 “for relinquishment of his tenure at UCF,” according to a copy posted on the university’s website.

The university would pay legal costs for Whittaker, who also is resigning as a tenured faculty member.

Whittaker, who had served as UCF’s provost and executive vice president, became president July 1 after the retirement of longtime President John Hitt.

But the scandal erupted in September when an audit revealed that the school had improperly used $38 million in state operating funds to build the 137,000-square-foot Trevor Colbourn Hall.

The money was supposed to be used for activities like instruction, research, libraries, student services or maintenance.