The Phoenix Flyer

Former Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to be interim president of New College of Florida

By: - January 31, 2023 3:13 pm

Former Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Credit, Screenshot, Florida Channel.

Richard Corcoran, a former House Speaker and Florida Education Commissioner and a current Board of Governors member of the state university system, is expected to be the interim president at the public New College of Florida in Sarasota.

The news came in a series of tweets and clips from Florida-based newspapers on Tuesday afternoon and amid a flurry of attention at the liberal arts college that has been under siege due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new board of trustee appointees. The appointees are considered conservative-leaning.

In Sarasota, the Herald-Tribune, which has been following the saga, wrote that:

“Former Republican state House speaker and education commissioner Richard Corcoran, a close ally of Gov. Ron DeSantis and ardent supporter of his education culture war battles, is taking over as president of New College of Florida.

“DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske confirmed Corcoran’s appointment to the Tampa Bay Times.

“Yes, it’s real,” Fenske told the Times.

“Corcoran served as DeSantis’ education commissioner when he pushed to ban critical race theory and mask mandates from public schools. He currently serves on the state Board of Governors, which oversees Florida’s university system, and previously applied to be president of Florida State University.”

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.