‘Tough year’: Florida’s new college faces high faculty turnover

School officials said that out of about 100 full-time teaching positions, 36 are currently vacant.

SARASOTA, Florida. New Florida College leaders continue to meet about the school’s new plans, but leaving the faculty presents a new set of challenges.

The next big hurdle for administrators to overcome is the reduction in teaching staff. They are trying to stay ahead of this new accelerated hiring curve to prevent any impact on students before the fall semester.

At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, leaders at New Florida College reported that several faculty members have left or will soon leave.

“Thirty people have either quit, are on vacation or retired,” said Richard Corcoran, acting president of New Florida College.

School officials said that out of about 100 full-time teaching positions, 36 are currently vacant.

One trustee, Provost Bradley Thiessen, called the departures a “ridiculously high” turnover for a small liberal arts school.

“Most of the teachers who left didn’t pay attention to us, didn’t pay attention, didn’t think or anything else that would speed up the process,” Corcoran said.

A union representative on the New College faculty said it was worrying.

“It’s going to be a tough year, there’s no doubt about that,” said Steve Shipman, president of the NCF chapter of the United Florida faculty. “We’re losing about a quarter of the people who regularly teach classes, and there are some replacements that come and sort of visit us, like a one-year deal.”

At a meeting last week, the school said it had hired about 16 guest teachers, some of whom hope to secure long-term contracts.

“We hear all the time that they want to completely change the academic program, but they don’t really present any models for this. There is not much stability here, and a lot of people are really looking for other places where they can get more pay and have more stability,” Shipman said.

Several of the school’s dormitories are also undergoing massive renovations after extensive decay and moldings were discovered.

However, several high school students were disappointed after being notified of housing redeployment to make room for freshmen and athletes.

“There will be a social divide among students that shouldn’t exist,” said Grace Keenan, NCF student trustee. “A bunch of freshman baseball players and basketball players and everyone else gets the prettiest and most recently renovated dorms, while a lot of high schoolers are tripled in “pies” that will be cleaned but not renovated. It will be a lot of anxiety.”

Only about 25 percent of the total number of employee layoffs occurred after changes in the board of trustees, according to an NCF spokesman.

Fall classes are scheduled to begin August 28th.

Representatives from New College of Florida on Wednesday released the following statements to 10 Tampa Bay:

About leaving the faculty

The excitement over the changes that have taken place since January is astonishing as we have been inundated with biographical details of faculty members from many of America’s most prestigious schools. These applicants recognize New College’s elite status and understand the value of its rigorous academic standards and student-centered liberal arts curriculum.

As a result of retirements, scheduled vacations, and just six layoffs, New College expects 36 faculty members to be absent for the 2022-23 academic year. Again, as it is important to include in your story for context, only six of these resignations are the result of resignations, and in addition, only approximately 25% of the total resignations were due to changes in the New College Board of Trustees. Just as we welcome a record influx of students, we will complete a record enrollment to fill 36 vacant positions and more to meet the needs of our growing enrollment. As we have consistently stated, the full list of classes will be available to our students this fall.

Regarding on-campus housing

In his first month, President Corcoran promised to address the current issue by making student safety and comfort a priority, and commissioned a Targeted Mold and Moisture Assessment Report for all residences and dormitories.

The report indicated that previous administrations did not take adequate remedial and remedial action as indicated in the last evaluation report four years ago. Based on the findings and recommendations of professional inspectors, New College has shut down all affected rooms to ensure student safety. The ongoing multi-million dollar renovation of the New College campus includes significant improvements to all residences, meaning students will enjoy some of the best living conditions at any college in America this fall.

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