New College of Florida faculty censures board of trustees

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New College
New College of Florida in Sarasota. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (Apr. 2023).

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New College of Florida faculty have voted to censure the college’s Board of Trustees. Faculty mentioned a long list of grievances in a letter sent to the school’s leadership.

Miriam Wallace, English professor and co-author of the letter, wrote the motion to censure with a clear message:

“It says here are the things we think need improvement, and if you want to take it up positively, we’re inviting you to improve on these points.”

The letter claims that the board of trustees is not fulfilling its fiduciary duties. One of the key moments that worried faculty was when the board voted to deny some faculty tenure.

“We pretty much have to go to where the job is, which means you uproot your family, you move your whole household. So people want to know that if they do that they have some kind of job security.”

They cited other concerns such as board members making disparaging comments on social media about the New College community, and not being fully transparent about financial conflicts.

However, there wasn’t 100% faculty support on the censure. Some faculty were, and still are, scared of what might happen next.

“People are concerned that there might be some kind of retaliation. Now, that is illegal. But we’re in a very murky place and people are fearful.”

The school said that the complaints are false and cites a resistance to change. However, Wallace disagrees.

“Courses are changing, programs are changing, new programs have been starting all the time, so I don’t think resistance to change is really our problem. Resistance to a lack of vision about where we’re going.”

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