In accordance with Florida Board of Governors Regulation 1.002 Presidential Search and Selection, New College's Presidential Search Committee was tasked with developing a search timeline, creating a position profile, assisting with marketing the position, vetting applicants, interviewing the most qualified candidates and providing NCF’s Board of Trustees a finalist.
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Announcement of Search Committee
Dear New College Community:
Having consulted with Brian Lamb, Chair of the Board of Governors, I am pleased today to appoint and introduce the members of the New College of Florida (“NCF”) Presidential Search Committee. The members are a distinguished group representing the NCF Board of Trustees, student body, faculty, NCF Foundation, alumni and other stakeholders and supporters of NCF. Each has agreed to make the significant commitment of time and dedication needed to identify highly qualified candidates for the critical position of NCF’s next President. Those on the Committee possess a diverse array of expertise, professional interests and accomplishments.
I am also pleased to announce that NCF Board of Trustees member Matthew Spalding will serve as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. Dr. Spalding is the Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government at Hillsdale College and the Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C., campus. As Vice President for Washington Operations, he oversees all academic and educational programs of Hillsdale in the nation’s capital. Dr. Spalding earned his bachelor’s degree from Claremont- McKenna College and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Claremont Graduate School. Joining Dr. Spalding on the Committee are the following 14 members:
- Robert Allen, Esq., NCF Alumni
- Dr. Mark Bauerlein, NCF Trustee
- Joshua Broyhill, NCF Student Representative
- Ron Christaldi, Esq., NCF Trustee
- Chad Choate III, Manatee County School Board Chair District 4
- Joe Jacquot, Esq., Shareholder Gunster Law
- Dr. Charles Kesler, NCF Trustee
- Dr. Matthew Lepinski, NCF Faculty Chair, NCF Trustee, Associate Professor of Computer Science
- Alan Levine, Florida Board of Governors
- Representative Fiona McFarland, Florida House District 73
- Kenneth Misemer, NCF Alumni
- Henry Smyth, NCF Foundation Board, NCF Alumni
- Norman Worthington, NCF Alumni
Bridget Ziegler, Sarasota County School Board Chair District 1
A presidential search webpage has been established that will include brief biographies of the Search Committee members and a timeline. Meetings of the search committee will be publicly noticed. Email questions and suggestions to PresidentialSearch@ncf.edu.
The Search Committee begins its work in a momentous and transformative time for NCF. The President selected will have an opportunity to lead a top ranked public, four-year undergraduate liberal arts college and the state of Florida’s legislatively designated honors college. With these distinguished and dedicated Search Committee members in place, we can now begin our Presidential search with the focus needed to ensure we identify the best leader to take NCF into the future.
Debra A. Jenks Chair, New College of Florida Board of Trustees Class of ‘77
Dear New College Community:
Having consulted with Brian Lamb, Chair of the Board of Governors, I am pleased today to appoint Dr. David Harvey, former NCF Faculty Chair, Professor of History to the Presidential Search Committee replacing Dr. Matthew Lepinski, NCF Faculty Chair, NCF Trustee, Associate Professor of Computer Science, who publicly resigned from New College at the last Board of Trustees meeting. I would like to thank Dr. Lepinski for his service on the Committee.
Debra A. Jenks Chair, New College of Florida Board of Trustees Class of ‘77
The New College of Florida Search Committee is appointed to serve in an advisory role to the New College Board of Trustees. The committee comprises 15 members including representatives of trustees and foundation directors, Board of Governors member, faculty, students, staff, alumni and the community. The committee’s chair is Trustee Matthew Spalding. Staff are General Counsel Bill Galvano and Interim Chief of Staff Christie Fitz-Patrick.
The Search Committee is charged with recommending to the Board of Trustees an individual who is highly qualified to lead New College of Florida as its next president. The Search Committee is asked to base its recommendations upon a position criterion adopted by the Board of Trustees with input from the campus community, as well as the Board of Trustees’ established employment policies.
The Search Committee shall conduct the following activities in discharging its duties:
- Develop position criteria consistent with the university’s mission, strategic plan and aspirational goals, which shall be approved by the Board of Trustees.
- Develop a marketing plan presented to the Board of Trustees for approval.
- Actively solicit nominations and applications from highly qualified persons.
- Screen applications using the position criteria as the basis for choice.
- Ensure that appropriate information about scheduled meetings, minutes and process is provided to the campus community and the public.
- Ensure that appropriate information about the university and the presidency is provided to candidates at each stage of the screening process.
- Submit its recommendation to the Board of Trustees for a decision.
- Comply with the requirements of Board of Governors Regulation 1.002 Presidential Search and Selection.
The New College of Florida Board of Trustees extends its gratitude to the members of the Search Committee for accepting this demanding assignment. Be assured that this work will be conducted with all the academic and professional seriousness appropriate to this important task. The future of the university rests upon your counsel and wisdom.
New College of Florida, a top ranked public, four-year undergraduate institution within the State University System of Florida, seeks a new president. Located in Sarasota, New College is legislatively designated to be the residential liberal arts honors college of the State of Florida.
The president is the Chief Executive Officer of New College of Florida (“NCF”) and reports to the New College Board of Trustees (the “Board”). Subject to the oversight and governance of the Board, the president is responsible for all operations of the NCF and for assuring that all of those operations uphold and are consistent with the mission of the NCF. These responsibilities include overall leadership and management of the institution, its academic and educational functions, its institutional fundraising, the development of strategic plans, and fiscal and budgetary plans and the allocation of resources. The president also has oversight responsibilities for NCF’s private affiliated organizations including the New College Foundation, Inc., New College of Florida Development Corporation, Inc., and alumni association. The president will advance NCF’s academic, and outreach efforts to enhance its programs and ensure that student services and support are provided to create appropriate learning environments.
New College is the only public college or university in the State whose distinctive mission is to provide a liberal arts undergraduate education of the highest caliber to qualified students from around the country. NCF does so by providing students with an education that integrates the academic rigor of the humanities and the sciences with career-building experiences to create a culture of intellectually curious students pursuing academic excellence and seeking a better understanding of the world within an educational environment of free speech and academic freedom. The long-standing tradition at New College combines student contracts and faculty evaluations rather a traditional grading system and emphasizes independent study projects and a senior capstone project. Since 2001, NCF has earned top 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. NCF is also a national leader in Fulbright Scholarship recipients, along with several other accolades.
Notwithstanding the above, NCF in recent years has had a decline in enrollment and has economic and other challenges. With its history of innovation and commitment to academic excellence, NCF seeks a president who believes in transforming lives through an outstanding public liberal arts education and who sees the opportunity for NCF to become one of the top liberal arts universities in the country. At the same time, as an historic institution originally founded to provide an education free from any bias based on race or religion, NCF seeks a president who believes in racial and religious non-discrimination. The president must be an inspiring, visionary champion of the liberal arts with the ability to harness the energy, talent, resources, and passion of the NCF’s many partners and friends to overcome its challenges and lead it to achieve its highest goals.
Candidates for the position should demonstrate significant, successful leadership experience in a complex organizational setting; an understanding of and ability to advocate for NCF’s mission and uphold its historical commitments; a commitment to the value and promise of outstanding, innovative classical liberal arts education; a deep and abiding interest in student success and academic excellence; a proven ability to lead the NCF’s fund-raising efforts; and the interpersonal skills to develop productive relationships with all members of the NCF community and others key to the success of NCF.
Qualities & Characteristics
The next NCF president will have an opportunity to help NCF reclaim its intended standing and transform a struggling institution into a beautiful, unrivaled, and preeminent public university within the State University System of Florida.
The following criteria includes qualities and characteristics that have been established by the New College Board of Trustees in consultation with many alumni, stakeholders, and friends of NCF.
a) As the highest-ranking official of a major public university, the president should be a distinguished scholar or leader dedicated to the advancement of academic scholarship. A Ph.D., or advanced terminal degree, and/or significant executive experience that would command respect and complete confidence is required.
b) While academic experience (professional and administrative) is strongly desired, exceptional candidates can also have demonstrated a high degree of scholarly and administrative success outside of academia.
c) A passion for and commitment to the academic values of NCF and the capacity to communicate its mission and needs clearly and persuasively to all external and internal constituencies.
d) Demonstrated commitment to fostering free speech and academic freedom, along with the ability of all members of the NCF community to express their academic and professional views openly.
e) Demonstrated commitment to and support for excellence in teaching, research, and service, and a willingness to champion interdisciplinary collaboration and genuine innovation in these areas.
f) An appreciation and respect for all academic disciplines and a demonstrated support for scholarly work and academic excellence.
a) A dynamic, transparent, and confident leadership style appropriate to be the public face of a large and prominent public institution with a high state and national profile.
b) The commitment and confidence to embrace an ambitious and expanding vision of NCF to become and be recognized as a top public liberal arts university.
c) Ability and commitment to accelerate NCF’s enrollment trajectory, including the ability, fortitude, and strategic vision to take the NCF to the next level by increasing the number of quality students who welcome and can excel at the academic rigor of NCF.
d) Knowledge of the national trends in higher education, specifically regarding the liberal arts and classical education.
e) Ability to identify new academic innovations, and establish partnerships with private sector and governmental agencies, to realize the potential for growth and opportunity at NCF.
f) Ability to improve the performance metrics that inform and impact the NCF’s external rankings and performance measures established by the Florida Board of Governors and the Legislature.
g) A passion for learning and the belief in the power of education to change lives.
h) A concern with all aspects of the student experience, and the ability to interact with undergraduates, graduate and professional students.
i) A concern with all aspects of the faculty and staff experience and the ability to effectively interact with faculty and staff.
Collaboration with Stakeholders
a) Ability to inspire trust and confidence among all internal and external constituents and stakeholders.
b) Ability to serve as a partner to the Board of Trustees and the New College Foundation to develop NCF’s priorities and strategic plan, leading NCF to successfully carrying out that plan in a manner consistent with becoming a leading liberal arts institution.
c) Commitment to working collaboratively with the Florida Board of Governors and all elected state leaders to advance NCF priorities.
d) A track record serving as a relationship builder who is authentic, ethical, and of good character.
e) Demonstrated commitment to the faculty’s participation in governance, including academic standards and policies, with faculty playing an appropriate role as determined by the Board of Trustees in decision-making processes that affect the academic and working environment of NCF.
f) Experience serving as a passionate advocate for a university or organization and the capacity to establish fruitful relationships with members of the legislative and executive branches as well as donors, alumni, and other individuals who may be in a position to promote NCF’s agenda and interests.
g) Demonstrates an effective communication style that would be embraced by a broad spectrum of internal and external stakeholders.
h) Commitment to NCF’s role as a contributor to local, state, and national economic, environmental, and cultural vitality, and recognition of NCF as a partner with the community in which it serves.
a) Demonstrated success in leading an academic unit or institution of higher education, including administrative experience, or experience serving in a senior-level leadership role in a complex organization in higher education, government, business, or the nonprofit sector.
b) An established history of leading and managing institutional change while achieving long- and short-term strategic objectives that advance the mission and goals of a complex organization.
c) The ability to develop high-performing leadership teams and to cultivate environments with a shared sense of mission and culture that encourages entrepreneurism, innovation, strategic risk- taking, and collaboration.
d) The ability to set clear expectations, priorities, and performance metrics that align with the vision for NCF and inspire faculty and staff to achieve success.
e) Experience leading an institution during times of uncertainty, crisis, innovation, and opportunity.
a) A high level of sophistication and understanding of the fiscal issues affecting institutions of higher education, in particular an astute understanding of public university finances and state- level budgeting and appropriations.
b) Experience with complex budgetary matters, managing and allocating resources effectively, and large-scale budgetary decision-making.
c) Experience in identifying and developing new revenue streams from public, private, and governmental sources.
d) Commitment to collaborate and work with the executive and legislative branch of the Florida government to serve the mission and fulfill the needs of the NCF.
C. Advancement / Fundraising
a) A demonstrated ability to raise funds, with the capacity to cultivate a broad range of stakeholders including donors, alumni, and outside supporters of NCF.
b) Demonstrated success in fundraising from public and private sources and working with key stakeholders to engage them with the institution and willingness to place that activity high on their agenda.
D. Student Life
a) An appreciation for the significant role of increasing the vibrancy of student life at NCF. Whether providing better quality services (food, housing, etc), athletics and opportunities for students to find a balance between the academic rigor and enjoying life on Sarasota Bay.
Application and Nomination Process
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled.
Applications should include a current curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via email is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name and contact information of the nominee.
In accordance with the State of Florida’s open records laws, nominations, applications, and letters of interest will be held in confidence with only the finalists’ identities and materials made public. Application materials should be submitted to PresidentialSearch@ncf.edu.