President of New College of Florida

Jan 28, 2021

New College of Florida, a top ranked public, four-year undergraduate college and the state of Florida’s legislatively designated honors college for the liberal arts and sciences, seeks a new president. The position replaces Dr. Donal O'Shea, who will retire effective June 30, 2021.

New College offers a personal and collaborative learning environment, where faculty and students engage in in-depth exploration of ideas and subject matter, and where students have the freedom to chart their own academic course and prepare for their future career. Since 2001, the college has earned top five rankings from Forbes, the Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, Fiske Guide to Colleges, The Wall Street Journal and others as one of the nation’s premier public liberal arts colleges. New College is also a national leader in Fulbright Scholarship recipients, having produced more than 50 undergraduate Fulbright winners in the past decade.

As the State of Florida’s legislatively-designated “honors college for the liberal arts,” New College is the only public college or university in the state whose sole mission is to provide an undergraduate education of the highest caliber to high potential students from around the country. Located on a beautiful 110-acre campus on sunny Sarasota Bay, New College provides an ideal learning environment for intellectually curious, motivated students who thrive on active learning and are drawn to a rigorous academic curriculum. More about the college and the search may be found at

In 2018, the Board of Trustees adopted a ten-year strategic plan, Cultivating Curiosity. Unleashing Potential., which outlines the college’s plan to grow enrollment from 727 students in 2019-20 to 1,200 students in 2024-25 and increase four-year graduation rates from 56% to 80%.

Buoyed by a three-year, $9 million investment from the state, New College has expanded its faculty to 98, rolled out new academic programs and increased student services. In 2020, the Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of Florida, recognized New College’s excellence on its 10 performance-based metrics and awarded $4 million to the institution.

With its history of innovation and commitment to academic excellence, New College seeks a president who believes in transforming lives through outstanding public liberal arts education who will join them in their aspiration to be recognized among the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the nation. The president must be an inspiring, visionary champion of the liberal arts with the ability to harness the collective energy, talent, resources and passion of the college's constituents to achieve its goal.

Candidates for the position should demonstrate evidence of significant, successful leadership experience in a complex organizational setting; an understanding of and ability to advocate for the College’s mission; a commitment to the value and promise of outstanding, innovative liberal arts education; a deep abiding interest in student success, academic excellence, diversity, equity, inclusion and access; proven ability to lead the College's fund-raising efforts; and the interpersonal skills to develop productive relationships with all members of the College community and other key stakeholder groups (donors, legislators, etc.) A Ph.D., an advanced degree, and/or equivalent executive experience that would command the respect and complete confidence of the college community is required.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile.

WittKieffer is assisting New College of Florida in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by February 28, 2021. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries may be directed to

It is important for candidates to note that under Florida’s Sunshine Laws, all application materials are available for public review upon request. NCF is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for, and nondiscrimination towards applicants and employees with respect to race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran status, as provided by law, and in accordance with NCF’s respect for personal dignity. It is NCF’s goal to create and maintain a work and study environment that is positive and free of unlawful discrimination. Further, NCF encourages the recognition of the diversity of its population and seeks to promote delivery systems, curricula activities, and programs that reflect this diversity in all facets of life at NCF



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