President Don O'Shea
New College President Donal O’Shea

The search has begun to replace New College President Donal O’Shea, who has led the College since 2012 and plans to step down from his position at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
New College Board of Trustees (BOT) Chair Mary Ruiz announced last week that she has assembled a presidential search committee comprised of representatives from the student body, faculty, alumni, staff, trustees, the New College Foundation directors, and community members. The committee also includes a liaison from the Board of Governors (BOG) for the State University System (SUS) of Florida.
“As the search committee, we are charged with engaging worthy applicants and bringing three final candidates to campus for visits and interviews,” Ruiz said. “This process includes development of a leadership statement with input from the New College community. To assist our efforts, we will procure a search firm to recruit outstanding applicants from across the country.”
The search committee, chaired by Ruiz, includes:

  • Ron Christaldi, attorney and vice chair of the BOT
  • John Cranor, past chair of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
  • William C. Dudley, former president/CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • David Harvey, chair of the Faculty Senate and professor of history at New College
  • Emily Heffernan, associate professor of biology and environmental studies at New College
  • Sarah Hernandez, associate professor of sociology and Latin America and Caribbean studies at New College
  • Alan Levine, member of the BOG
  • Sofia Lombardi, president of New College Student Alliance
  • Michael McPherson, former president of the Spencer Foundation and Macalester College
  • Dwayne Peterson, director of the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity at New College
  • Sharon Landesman Ramey, member of New College Foundation Board of Directors
  • Mona Rankin, past chief of staff at SUNY College at Old Westbury
  • Felice Schulaner, former chair of the New College Foundation and the BOT
  • James B. Stewart, professor emeritus and former vice provost for educational equity at Penn State University

Every search committee meeting will be publicly noticed. The BOT has set up a Presidential Search webpage with updates, schedules, meeting materials and documents. Email questions and suggestions to PresidentialSearch@ncf.edu.
“Your active engagement is a welcome and essential part of our upcoming search,” Ruiz said.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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