New College of Florida is kicking out returning students from their preferred housing and giving the most sought-after rooms to new students and athletes. There’s an influx of these later groups who are coming to the school that is being remade by Ron DeSantis and his friends.
On Tuesday Cafe we spoke with a student, Basil Pursley, who has had enough of the changes and is transferring from New College to an out-of-state college. We also spoke with a parent, Hannah Homer, of another New College student who is considering the same thing.
There have been two major revelations in the last week or so.
One is that New College has lost one-third of its total faculty for all or part the upcoming academic year.
The other is that returning students received emails from New College telling them “their housing assignments had been changed to accommodate incoming record numbers of incoming student-athletes and freshmen.” In some cases, the only available dorms are riddled with mold.
On Twitter, Pursley said, “After being kicked out of my medically necessary housing assignment, with no response from housing on how to fix it – I decided I was done” with New College of Florida and transferring out of state.
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The News Service of Florida reports on NCF faculty turnover
Amid heavy turnover, New College of Florida officials are in the process of filling 36 faculty positions ahead of the fall semester. New College has secured signed offer letters for 15 incoming visiting faculty members as it looks to address what Provost Brad Thiessen called a “ridiculously high” level of turnover compared to previous years. A presentation given Monday to a committee of the New College Board of Trustees detailed reasons that faculty members will be “out for at least one semester.” For example, six faculty members have retired, six have resigned and six took leave without pay. Another 16 faculty members will be out for reasons such as being assigned research leave or being on family leave. Also, out of seven visiting professor contracts that were up for renewal, five have been renewed, meaning that the school has two visiting professor slots that need to be filled. Thiessen during Monday’s meeting pointed to the school being in the process of “negotiating offers” with six additional prospective faculty members. “If this meeting were a week later, I think we would get up to 21 (faculty members hired),” Thiessen said. The current vacancies would account for about a third of the small liberal-arts school’s total faculty, as the most recently published information on the New College website said the campus had 94 full-time faculty members. Fall classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 28. The school has drawn heavy attention in recent months as Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a slate of conservative trustees who have made changes. That has included the ouster of former President Patricia Okker, who was replaced by interim President Richard Corcoran, a former Florida House speaker and education commissioner.
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