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New Faculty of Florida approves Corcoran’s president contract — doubling his predecessor’s wage

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The governing board of New Faculty of Florida signed off on its new president’s contract Friday, cementing that Richard Corcoran, a distinguished state Republican, will earn greater than double his predecessor at virtually $700,000 a 12 months. 

New Faculty’s board gave its blessing over objections of scholars, dad and mom, alumni and school, who all deemed Corcoran’s compensation far too beneficiant for the previous Florida Home speaker — who has by no means served as a university president. 

Corcoran will likely be considered one of Florida public schools’ highest-paid presidents, regardless of main an establishment a fraction the dimensions of campuses akin to Florida Worldwide College, whose interim president earns $650,000 yearly. Specialists in presidential contacts have additionally referred to as the package deal unusually lavish.

Approval of Corcoran’s contract represents the most recent improvement in a saga at New Faculty, the place early this 12 months, Gov. Ron DeSantis named a brand new slate of board members. They’re a group of right-wing voices who’ve since radically reworked Florida’s sole public liberal arts establishment, firing the earlier president, disbanding its variety workplace, and creating an intercollegiate athletics program.

How did Richard Corcoran arrive at New Faculty?

The newly conservative board named Corcoran interim president in February after firing his predecessor, Patricia Okker, the month prior. 

As New Faculty took up its presidential search in April, Corcoran stood out as a favourite. Board members had lauded his work earlier than and after they named him as considered one of three finalists for the job in August. 

The opposite two contenders had been a College of Central Florida professor and a former faculty president who has helmed non secular establishments. 

However, as anticipated, New Faculty’s board went with Corcoran. 

Corcoran, who was additionally the state’s former schooling commissioner, had vied for the Florida State College presidency in 2021. However on the time, he was a member of the Florida college system governing board, which oversees presidential hiring. The establishment’s accreditor flagged his candidacy as a possible battle of curiosity and he didn’t transfer ahead. 

What’s within the contract?

Corcoran’s contract in his new job, which runs by means of February 2028, provides the newly minted president an $84,000 housing allowance, a $12,000 automobile stipend, as much as $18,000 for shifting bills and $104,850 in deferred compensation.

It additionally presents the opportunity of retention and efficiency bonuses price tons of of hundreds of {dollars}. For the retention bonus, Corcoran will likely be paid $200,000 twice, on the three- and five-year marks of his contract. 

His efficiency bonuses may internet him as much as $200,000 yearly.

Mercer, a guide New Faculty employed to find out applicable compensation, beneficial a complete presidential package deal be price between roughly $894,000 and $1.5 million.

Amy Reid, a French professor at New Faculty and the board school consultant, raised issues throughout Friday’s board assembly that some efficiency bonus objectives the board set for Corcoran had been nebulous. 

A few the benchmarks had been actual — improve enrollment to 1,200 college students and maintain a second-year scholar retention charge of 85% by the tip of his fifth 12 months. IThe faculty’s enrollment was 689 in fall 2022, federal information reveals.

However different metrics are obscure, Reid stated, just like the board’s decree that Corcoran “enrich educational packages and choices.”

She urged that the board agency up these targets, and beneficial including a contract provision that ensures he maintains “the caliber” of scholars and the school’s educational choices.

Reid pointed to what she described as regarding tendencies — New Faculty plummeting 24 locations in U.S. Information and World Report’s newest liberal arts establishment rankings to tie for a hundredth, and a major decline in scholar retention charges.

Some 27% of the general scholar physique left earlier than fall 2023, reportedly double the share that had departed in every of the earlier two years. And solely 65% of first-year college students stayed for his or her sophomore 12 months. That’s in comparison with about 75% the earlier 12 months. 

“The primary-year retention charge is the bottom in reminiscence,” Reid stated. 



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