New College Interim President Richard Corcoran outlines vision for the future of New College

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Today is a new day for New College.  The start of a brighter future where we will chart a new path for success for years to come, a path that continues to focus on the future of liberal arts and helps propel our students, our faculty, our alumni, and our success into a new realm of possibility.
Earlier this week, I shared a message with our campus community where I outlined my vision for the future of New College, and I pledged to listen and work together with students and faculty for the betterment of New College.  However, to do this, we need your continued support and commitment.  Charitable giving to higher education is an investment in the future of not only our state, but also our society. I understand that the past few months have likely led to your support of New College being in flux. I also understand that in order to continue to support New College through philanthropic giving, you must feel a connection to our success and be invested in our mission and our future.
I would like to share with you my vision for New College. For now, my approach is two-fold.
First, I believe that New College needs to have a defined curriculum that is crafted to achieve the aim of the liberal arts education: to teach students how to think. The course progression should not be so broad as to be meaningless. The basic premise of a liberal arts education is that each person has an inherent dignity. Students are not widgets who need only technical skills to take their place in an assembly line of workers. They are humans who want to understand themselves and their world. The curriculum should reflect this from beginning to end.
Second, I want to ensure that the Chicago Principles are followed because “without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, a university ceases to be a university.” These were adopted by the University of Chicago’s Committee on Freedom of Expression in 2014 and have since been adopted by many colleges around the country, including the State University System of Florida in 2019. It is important that higher education is not dominated by a self-aggrandizing few who want to co-opt the education system to force their personal beliefs on other people’s children. That is the opposite of what education is for.
New College is no longer under threat from extinction by the state.  With the recently announced $15 million commitment from Governor DeSantis, we know that we have a future in Florida, and we have the chance to grow and be successful in the higher education arena. We look forward to receiving
your continued support.
Richard Corcoran
Interim President
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