The Phoenix Flyer

Richard Corcoran among three finalists for New College of Florida presidency

By: - August 1, 2023 6:54 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis and then-New College of Florida’s interim president Richard Corcoran at a Board of Education meeting July 14, 2021. The picture was taken when Corcoran was the education commissioner. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Six months into his role as interim president of New College of Florida, Richard Corcoran is one of three finalists in the institution’s presidential search.

The Tuesday announcement comes days after the liberal arts college garnered criticism over lowering its admissions standards in an attempt to increase enrollment, the Herald-Tribune reported.

Corcoran is a former House Speaker and Florida Education Commissioner, and he got the interim position after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ takeover of the public liberal arts university.

Along with Corcoran, the presidential search committee named finalists Tyler Fisher of the University of Central Florida and Robert Gervasi, former interim president of the University of Mount Union in Ohio, according to a press release from New College. Fisher is a professor of modern languages and literature. Gervasi has held two other presidential positions at Ohio Dominican University and Quincy University in Illinois, according to the press release.

“The search committee worked diligently through a long list of highly qualified applicants to find and forward these outstanding finalists, and I thank everyone involved in the application and interview process for their interest in the future of New College,” said Dr. Matthew Spalding, NCF trustee and presidential search committee chair.

The announcement from New College is the latest development in controversies surrounding presidential searches at Florida public universities and state colleges. Just last month, Florida’s Board of Governors Chancellor Ray Rodrigues launched an investigation against Florida Atlantic University’s search because of alleged anomalies raised by an anonymous person.

New College has also taken a hit on its faculty retention, as more than one-third of its faculty will not be returning in the fall, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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Jackie Llanos
Jackie Llanos

Jackie is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond. She has interned at Nashville Public Radio, Virginia Public Media and Virginia Mercury.