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- by  New College Communications
New College of Florida Board of Trustees Appoints Interim President, Elects New Chair & Retains Current Vice Chair

Sarasota, Fla. – The New College of Florida Board of Trustees today held its first meeting of the new board.  During the meeting, the board appointed Dr. Bradley Thiessen as the interim president, and made a motion to approve entering into discussions with Richard Corcoran, former commissioner of the Florida Board of Education, to assume the role as interim president effective March 1, 2023.  The board also voted to elect Debra A. Jenks, as the new chair of the board, and voted to retain Ron Christaldi as its vice chairman.

During the meeting, the board voted to terminate Dr. Patricia Okker’s employment as president of the college, effective immediately. Today’s appointment of the interim president is required to be approved by the Board of Governors.  The board also directed the interim president to enter into discussions for a new general counsel and attorney to the board with former Senate President Bill Galvano, an attorney in private practice with offices in Sarasota and Manatee.  

Dr. Bradley Thiessen has served as the chief of staff for New College, the director of institutional performance assessment, and as a professor of statistics. He has also worked at St. Ambrose University, Touro University California, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. 

Richard Corcoran is currently a member of the Florida Board of Governors. He previously served as education commissioner for the state of Florida from December 2018 to April 2022. Corcoran also served as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives for the 2016-2018 term. 

Debra A. Jenks, the new chairman of the board of trustees, has been a board member since January 6, 2023 and is an alumna of New College. Jenks’ term as chair will take effect immediately.

The board’s next meeting will be held on February 28, 2023.

New College Communications Department, [email protected]