The Florida Constitution provides that each state university shall be administered by a board of trustees consisting of 13 members dedicated to the purpose of the State University System. Six citizen members are appointed by Florida’s Governor and five citizen members are appointed by the Florida Board of Governors. In addition, the chair of the faculty and the president of the student body serve on the board.

The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from it. Both the presiding officer of the board and a majority of other voting members of the board are free of any contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution. The President of New College serves as Secretary to the Board, but is not a voting member of the Board of Trustees.

Responsibilities and Authority

Under Florida Statutes, the Board of Trustees is established as a public body corporate with all the attendant powers and obligations of a public instrumentality. In addition to its Constitutional and Statutory authority, the Board of Trustees is afforded rights and responsibilities under the Regulations of the Florida Board of Governors.

The Board of Trustees is vested with a broad range of authority and responsibilities for governing and managing New College. Its specific powers and duties include responsibility for making cost-effective policy decisions, authority to adopt rules, authority to acquire and to dispose of real and personal property and for controlling college-owned property, responsibility to establish degree programs, and generally, authority and responsibility to do all things needed to administer New College. The Board has the authority to take action whether recommended by the President or not, and can direct the President to deliver all information required by the Board.

Chapter 2 of the New College Regulations Manual identifies the specific rights, duties, and powers of the New College of Florida Board of Trustees.


Mary Ruiz, who graduated from New College in 1978, is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and Chief Strategy Officer with specialization in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, business development, new product line launches, government relations and joint ventures.

Trustee Ruiz is the former CEO of Centerstone of Florida and now heads her own consulting firm – Ruiz Strategic Advisors.  In addition to her bachelor’s degree from New College in Urban Studies, she received her MBA from the University of South Florida.  She is eligible to serve on the Board through January 6, 2026. Ruiz previously served as a trustee from 2011 to 2016.

Ron Christaldi is a partner in the law firm of Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, LLP where he has a broad practice, comprised of both transactions and complex litigation. Ron also serves as the President/CEO of Shumaker Advisors Florida LLC, a government relations and public affairs firm.

He has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Florida and one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Ron served as the past Chair of the Tampa Bay Chamber. He also has served a variety of organizations including the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, Friends of the Riverwalk, Inc., City of Tampa Charter Review Commission, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts, Creative Tampa Bay, Inc., City of Tampa Creative Industries Council and the Tampa Theatre Facility Master Plan Task Force among other groups.

Trustee Christaldi received his bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida, his master’s degree from Florida State University, and his law degree from Florida State University College of Law.  His term began on January 6, 2020 and ends on January 6, 2025.

Mark Aesch is the chief executive officer of TransPro Consulting, a management advisory firm that specializes in working with the public sector, including government, education and transportation. Aesch was formerly the CEO of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, where he led a financial turnaround and improved services. He is an author and a frequent commentator on improving government efficiency.

Aesch received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. He was appointed to fill a vacant seat for a term beginning February 20, 2018, and is eligible to serve two terms of up to five years.

Felipe Colon has been a financial advisor with Wells Fargo since 2007. He also is chair of Suncoast Community Capital, a Bradenton-based nonprofit that provides business coaching, workforce readiness training, tax preparation and microloan access to low-income people and communities.

Colon serves on the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, first appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010 and is a 2009 graduate of the “Leadership Sarasota” program of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. He received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in 2004.

Colon succeeds Bradford Baker and is appointed for a term beginning February 20, 2018, and ending January 6, 2021.

David Harvey, Professor of History, and Chair, Division of Social Sciences, is chair of the faculty at New College of Florida. Professor Harvey’s primary area of interest is the history of modern France and Germany. He is the author of Constructing Class and Nationality in Alsace, 1830-1945 (2001), Beyond Enlightenment: Occultism and Politics in Modern France (2005) and The French Enlightenment and Its Others: The Mandarin, the Savage, and the Invention of the Human Sciences (2012).

Trustee Harvey earned his B.A. degree at Rice University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.  As chair of the faculty, Dr. Harvey is a statutory member of the board of trustees, with the term beginning August 7, 2019 and ending August 6, 2022.

Garin C. Hoover is a Sarasota-Bradenton real estate broker. An Ohio native, Hoover moved to Florida in 2004 and started his real estate firm, Hoover Realty. In Ohio, he worked as an attorney in the Cleveland area, as in-house counsel for a corporation and as an associate with a firm, before opening a private law practice. His previous experience includes working as a credit manager, a stockholder relations analyst and a tax research specialist. Hoover also serves on the Finance Committee of the School District of Manatee County.

Hoover earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace University and his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Ohio and Florida. He was appointed to a vacant seat on the New College board for a term beginning June 7, 2018, and ending January 6, 2023.

Dr. Karp attended the University of Florida where he obtained a Bachelor of Science, Doctor of Dental Medicine, and General Dentistry Residency.  He currently serves on the National University of Florida Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Manatee Technical College Dental Assisting Advisory Board, and the Florida Blue Key Alumni Advisory Board.  Since March 2010, he has served as President of the Sarasota Sheriff’s Activities League, a not-for-profit board associated with the Sheriff’s Office of Sarasota County.  The board works with the Sheriff, local law enforcement, local businesses, and community members to coordinate and raise funding for programs that provide local youth with safe, experiential educational opportunities.  He is the owner and President of Sarasota Dental Group.

Dr. Karp was appointed by the Board of Governors for a term beginning on January 7, 2021 and ending on January 6, 2026.

New College alumna and local entrepreneur, Charlie Lenger ’78 was appointed to the late State Senator Bob Johnson’s seat on the board of trustees four days after his death. She has been the owner and CEO of Tropex Plant Leasing company since 1981.

She currently serves on the New College Foundation’s Board of Directors and previously served as chair of the Goodwill Manasota, Inc. board. Her term began on September 4, 2015, and she is eligible to serve two full five (5) year terms.

Sofia Lombardi came to New College from northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.  She is currently a second year student pursuing a double AOC in History and Spanish.  After New College she plans to attend law school with the goal of becoming a public interest lawyer.

In addition to her studies, Trustee Lombardi most recently served New College as a Student Program Coordinator and Peer Coach for the New College of Florida Student Success Office.  Her experience includes interning on two separate congressional campaigns, serving as a staff writer, then Online Editor — and now Copy Editor – for The Catalyst student newspaper, and swim instructor. Prior to attending New College, Sofia was one of two delegates selected to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia as a “senator” at the premier American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation.

As New College Student Association (NCSA) President, Sofia is a statutory member of the Board of Trustees, with the term beginning September 14, 2020, and ending on June 30, 2021.  Her personal interests include cooking, writing, and spending time with friends.

Dr. Sarah Mackie is an Optometrist and Co-owner and Vice President of Eye Center, Inc.  She founded the Eye Center Vision Foundation in 2013 to provide free eye exams and a full set of glasses to underprivileged students in Manatee County.  She is an active member of the PTO at Palmetto Charter School and is an active member (and former member of the Executive Board) of the Junior League of Manatee County.  She is currently a member at large of 100 Women Who Care – Manatee, a group of women interested in supporting the local community by combining donations to impact local charities.

Dr. Mackie was appointed by the Board of Governors for a term that began on November 5, 2020 and ends on January 6, 2025.

Dr. James B. Stewart is Professor Emeritus at Penn State University who also served as the inaugural Vice Provost for Educational Equity and Director of the Black Studies Program.  He has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited eleven monographs and has published over seventy-five articles in Economics and Black Studies professional journals.  He has served as President of the Association of the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the National Economic Association.  Dr. Stewart received his Ph.D. from Notre Dame, an M.A. at Cleveland State University and a B. A. at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Appointed by the Board of Governors to serve the remainder of the term left open by the retirement of George Skestos, his term ends on January 6, 2023.

Appearances Before the Board of Trustees

The New College Board of Trustees is committed to promoting transparency and public input regarding the governance of New College of Florida. Time is set aside at each meeting for members of the public to submit questions, comments, and concerns.

Members of the public are asked to complete a public comment form specifying the matter on which they wish to speak. These forms will be available at the public information table at each full board meeting and must be submitted prior to the start of the meeting. To submit a public comment at Board meetings that are held via teleconference, contact the Office of General Counsel at 941-487-4877. Comment forms must be returned prior to the date of the teleconference meeting.

A group or faction wishing to address the Board will designate a representative to speak on its behalf. Individuals and representatives of groups will be allotted three minutes; however, this time limit may be modified at the discretion of the chair.

To see public notices and agendas of upcoming meetings, click here.

Scheduled Board of Trustees Meetings

Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 3:00  p.m., at Sudakoff Conference Center
Wednesday, June 22, at 3:00 p.m. at the Sudakoff Conference Center
Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., at Sudakoff Conference Center
Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at 3:00 p.m., at Sudakoff Conference Center

Past Minutes of the Board of Trustees

The minutes from prior Board meetings are posted below in PDF format.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 : Approved Minutes

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 : Approved Minutes

Friday, December 10, 2021:  Draft Minutes

Tuesday, October 19, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Monday, September 13, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Saturday, August 21, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Wednesday, July 7, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Saturday, June 5, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Tuesday, April 20, 2021: Approved Minutes

Monday, March 22, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Tuesday, February 23, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Thursday, February 11, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Monday, January 8, 2021:  Approved Minutes

Monday, December 7, 2020:  Approved Minutes

Tuesday, October 27, 2020:  Approved Minutes

Saturday, August 29, 2020: 

Saturday, June 6, 2020:  Virtual meeting via Zoom

Tuesday, April 21:  Virtual meeting via Zoom

Tuesday, February 25:  Sudakoff Conference Center

Tuesday, January 21: Sudakoff Conference CenterApproved Minutes

Wednesday, December 4:  Conference Call

Tuesday, October 22:  Sudakoff Conference Center

Saturday, September 14:  College Hall Music Room

Saturday, June 8: Sudakoff Conference Center

Friday, May 31: 2019 Ad Hoc Presidential Evaluation Committee Approved Minutes

Tuesday, April 23: Sudakoff Conference Center

Tuesday, April 16: 2019 Ad Hoc Presidential Evaluation Committee Approved Minutes

Tuesday, Feb. 26:  Sudakoff Conference Center

Tuesday, Feb. 5:  Sudakoff Conference Center – Approved minutes

Monday, Dec. 17: Cook Hall, Room 120 – Approved minutes

Saturday, Oct. 20:  Sudakoff Conference Center

Saturday Sept. 8, Board of Trustees Annual Meeting

Monday, Aug. 13: BOT Strategic Planning Committee Meeting, Cook Hall Conference Room 120 – Approved Minutes July 17, 2018: BOT Joint Strategic Planning and Ad Hoc Governance Committee Meeting with Internal College Strategic Planning Committee – Approved Minutes​ ​July 16, 2018: New Trustee Orientation – Approved Minutes

June 9, 2018: Board of Trustees Meeting — Approved Minutes

June 7, 2018: Ad Hoc Governance Committee Approved Minutes

June 4, 2018: Ad hoc Student Housing Committee Approved Minutes

May 30, 2018: Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Evaluation and Compensation Approved Minutes

April 20, 2018: Trustee Orientation Approved Minutes

April 2, 2018: Ad hoc Committee on Presidential Evaluation and Compensation Approved Minutes

March 20, 2018: Ad hoc Committee on Board Governance Approved Minutes

March 3, 2018: Board of Trustees Meeting Approved Minutes

February 16, 2018: Board of Trustees Teleconference Approved Minutes

January 17, 2018: Board of Trustees Meeting Approved Minutes

November 4, 2017: Board of Trustees Annual Meeting Approved Minutes

October 10, 2017: Board of Trustees Teleconference Approved Minutes

September 28, 2017: Audit and Compliance Committee Meeting Approved Minutes

September 19, 2017: Strategic Planning Committee Meeting Approved Minutes

September 9, 2017: Board of Trustees Annual Meeting – Postponed

August 18, 2017: Ad hoc Board Appraisal Committee Meeting Draft Minutes

July 10, 2017: Board of Trustees Meeting Approved Minutes

June 10, 2017: Board of Trustees Meeting Approved Minutes

June 6, 2017 Ad hoc BOT Presidential Evaluation and Contract Committee Meeting Approved Minutes

May 22, 2017 Ad hoc BOT Presidential Evaluation and Contract Committee Meeting Approved Minutes

April 28, 2017 BOT Teleconference Meeting Approved Meeting Minutes

April 10, 2017 Ad hoc BOT Presidential Evaluation Committee Meeting Approved Minutes

March 11, 2017 Board of Trustees Meeting Approved Meeting Minutes