Dr. Donal O’Shea

Donal O’Shea has been president of New College of Florida since 2012, where he has increased academic excellence and enhanced diversity and student life. He secured funding and oversaw planning for a new science building and for a cutting-edge master’s program in Data Science, New College’s first graduate program.  He aims to increase the enrollment of New College by 50 percent, with commitments from the state to fund proportionate increases in faculty, staff and facilities.

A firm believer in collaboration, O’Shea has helped develop a consortium of local colleges and universities to expand opportunities for all students.  He served as president of the Southern University Conference and the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, and is a member of the board of directors of the National Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Prior to joining New College, O’Shea was the dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs at Mount Holyoke College, the world’s oldest women’s college, for 14 years. While there, he was instrumental in founding Women’s Education Worldwide, a consortium of women’s colleges and universities around the world.

O’Shea earned an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University, all in mathematics.  An internationally known mathematician, he continues to work with collaborators around the world.  His research interests center around singularities of higher dimensional algebraic surfaces, work which mixes algebraic geometry and differential topology and geometry. He has also published in a number of applied areas, including medical imagining, phase transitions, and mathematical physics.  He has won numerous awards for his work, most in recently in January 2016, when a groundbreaking, now classic, book he wrote with two colleagues was awarded the coveted Steele prize by the American Mathematical Society.

President O’Shea’s Curriculum Vitae

Selected Published Articles

President O’Shea strives to keep New College in the public eye, contributing a column to SRQ Magazine and writing a number of op-eds in the local press and beyond. Here are some examples. 

SRQ Daily

Student Founds Rowing Team and Makes History on Suncoast (March 13, 2021)
New College Educates Florida’s Entrepreneurs (February 13, 2021)
New College Connects Through Outreach and Scholarships (January 9, 2021)
Professionals in Residence Invest in New College Students (December 12, 2020)
Politically Active New College Students Made Us Proud (November 14, 2020)
New College Aligns with Multicultural Action Team to Help Community (October 10, 2020)
New College’s COVID-19 Course is an Interdisciplinary Look at the Pandemic (September 12, 2020)
Smaller is Better as New College Reopens (August 8, 2020)
Students Setting a Smart Example (July 11, 2020)
Towards a More Inclusive New College (June 13, 2020)
Graduation Yes, Commencement Later (May 9, 2020)
Art, Dance and Music Go Virtual at New College (April 11, 2020)
Celebrating the French Author Colette (March 14, 2020)
Merger Will Cost New College What Makes It Special (February 29, 2020)
Educating Students for a Global Future (February 8, 2020)
Learning the Law at New College (January 11, 2020)
Dismantling the Berlin Wall on New College’s Campus (November 9, 2019)
A Common Challenge (August 10, 2019)
New College and the Cross College Alliance in the Community (July 13, 2019)
A Push for Science Education (June 22, 2019)
Talking About Race (May 11, 2019)
Good Things Come in Small Packages (March 9, 2019)
ROI on a College Degree (Feb. 9, 2019)
Better Than a Resolution: January at New College (Jan. 12, 2019)
Absolute O’Shea (Jan. 2019)
Need Blind Admissions and Mr. Bloomberg (Dec. 8, 2018)
Liberal and Conservative (Nov. 10, 2018)
Books, Coffee, and Conversation (Oct. 13, 2018)
In Loco Parentis (Sept. 8, 2018)
What Do You Tell a Graduate? (May 12, 2018)
April and Seniors (April 14, 2018)
The Charm and Utility of Medieval Studies (March 10, 2018)
The Origin of an Idea (Feb. 10, 2018)
The Data Revolution (Jan. 13, 2018)
Trigger Warnings (Dec. 9, 2017)
The Energy of Youth (Nov. 11, 2017)
Colleges — Hurricanes and Trauma (Oct. 14, 2017)
Science — New College and the Public Square (Sept. 9, 2017)
These United States of Science (Aug 12, 2017)
The Tyranny of GPAs (June 10, 2017)
Spring and Fellowships (April 8, 2017)
Childhood Arrivals (March 11, 2017)
Mental Health and the University (Feb. 11, 2017)
Space — Time and Ignorance (Dec. 10, 2016)
The Long Project (Nov. 12, 2016)
Humanities on the Creative Coast (Oct. 8, 2016)
The Liberal in Liberal Arts (Sept. 10, 2016)
The Lunacy of Online Hype (July 9, 2016)
Metaphor and Baggage (June 11, 2016)
The Bittersweet Season of Graduation (May 14, 2016)
The University of the Future is Here (April 9, 2016)

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Reverse Career Fair Spotlighted Exceptional New College Students (March 25, 2021)
New College Provides Quality and Affordability (January 28, 2021)
Local Internships Help New College Students Grow (December 17, 2020)
Civically Engaged Students Are the Citizens Our Society Needs (November 19, 2020)
New College Alums Support Recent Graduates in Tough Times (October 22, 2020)
New College Faculty-Student Collaborations (September 24, 2020)
Florida Coronavirus: The University in the Time of Pandemics (April 9, 2020)
Why Diversity in Our University System Matters (March 12, 2020)
New College Deserves to Stand Apart (February 13, 2020)
Moving from a ‘Whiff’ to a Real College Town (January 16, 2020)
Learning, Truth, and Fear (December 12, 2019)
Seeking Truth and Passing it on, a New College and Selby Collaboration (November 14, 2019)
New College Tomorrow: Arts and Sciences for Florida’s Future (October 17, 2019)
Problem-Solving Through Entrepreneurship (September 19, 2019)
The Subtle Art of Teaching Science (April 18, 2019)
New College is Preparing to Grow (April 5, 2019)
Human Rights and Dr. Fagin’s Legacy (March 21, 2019)
Through History We Face the Future (Feb. 21, 2019)
Beauty, Truth and the the University (Jan. 24, 2019)
The Soul of a White Nationalist (Nov. 23, 2018)
In Praise of the Humanities (Oct. 25, 2018)
Region Has Creativity to Burn So Let’s Help the World (Sept. 27, 2018)
Activism, Free Speech and Values of New College (March 1, 2018)
Universities’ Role in an Innovation Economy (Dec. 7, 2017)
Growth for New College Greatness for All (April 27, 2017)
Graduation and Confidence (May 26, 2017)
Bias Series Misuses Data (Dec. 14, 2016)

Bradenton Herald

New Faculty Boosts Manatee-Sarasota’s Intellectual Capital (Nov. 18, 2017)
Mellon Grant Exemplifies Creative Potential of Consortium of Colleges (Feb. 11, 2017)
The Soul of a University — The Faculty (Oct. 1, 2016)

Tampa Bay Times

New College Should Remain Independent (February 12, 2020)

Inside Higher Ed

A Woman’s Education: Remembering Jill Conway (Aug. 24, 2018)
What’s Wrong With Too Many Required Courses (June 27, 2017)

Inaugural Address

Read his Inaugural Address of February 15, 2013.