Richard Corcoran duels with Tampa Tiger Bay Club members over New College of Florida’s conservative makeover

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Richard Corcoran
Richard Corcoran speaks to press after addressing the Tiger Bay Club in West Tampa // Chris Young /WMNF News, 9/15/23

The interim president of New College of Florida, Richard Corcoran, was challenged by members of the Tampa Tiger Bay Club on Friday; there were some heated exchanges.

The Sarasota school is undergoing a conservative transformation that began in January when Governor Ron DeSantis appointed a slate of new trustees.

Soon after that, the new Board of Trustees selected Corcoran the powerful Republican, Corcoran, as interim president of the college.

Meanwhile, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Monday that New College plummeted in its national ranking, dropping “24 spots in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of liberal arts schools, into a tie for 100th.” And it is now “ranked No. 6 among the top public liberal arts colleges in the U.S., down from No. 5 in 2022.”

A New College spokesperson responded to Herald-Tribune with a statement that the drop in rankings ‘prove the symptoms of decline that have been evident at New College for many years.’”

Inside Higher Ed reports, “Since February, Florida’s public liberal arts college has hired numerous employees with little or no experience in higher education but deep ties to the Republican Party.”

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