Alexander Cartwright was selected as UCF’s sixth president by the UCF Board of Trustees on March 20, 2020 following a nationwide search. He was confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors the following week.
Prior to joining UCF, Dr. Cartwright served as the chancellor of the University of Missouri (MU) with an appointment as a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the MU College of Engineering.
While at MU, Dr. Cartwright led the university through strategic enrollment and research growth, as well as the successful completion of the university’s $1.3 billion fundraising campaign. He continuously advocated for student success initiatives, pushed for a more equitable and diverse environment where every voice is heard, and increased efforts to improve engagement with Missourians and beyond.
As a first‐generation college student whose journey to higher education was not traditional, Dr. Cartwright understands and prioritizes the need to build successful outcomes for students from all backgrounds. Among his proudest accomplishments from his time at MU is the launch of the Missouri Land Grant program, a commitment to helping students who are Pell Grant eligible by covering their tuition and fees. He has since overseen the launch of programs designed to improve retention and graduation rates as well as post‐graduation outcomes.
Dr. Cartwright came to MU from the State University of New York (SUNY) where he served as provost and executive vice chancellor from September 2014 to July 2017. At SUNY, Dr. Cartwright oversaw a broad portfolio, including academic policy, enrollment management and more.
An internationally recognized researcher and scholar in the area of optical sensors, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, SPIE and the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Cartwright is a prior winner of both the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. In addition, he earned the 2002 SUNY Chancellor’s award for excellence in teaching.
A native of the Bahamas, Dr. Cartwright holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Iowa. He and his wife Melinda have two children, Alyssa and Andrew.