New College has a new president
Donal O'Shea has just been selected as the new president of New College of Florida, replacing Gordon E. "Mike" Michalson, Jr., effective July 1.
O'Shea hails from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where he was dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs. His selection was unanimous by New College's presidential search committee. It must be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors, which meets in Jacksonville next week.
“Donal O’Shea’s intellectual abilities, his personal values and his visionary determination to make New College a national leader in the liberal arts really stood out from the other candidates we interviewed for the presidency and made him a natural fit to lead New College,” said board chair Bob Johnson.
More from a New College press release:
Dr. Donal O’Shea has been Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Holyoke College, a top 25 ranked private liberal arts women’s college, since 1998. During his 14-year tenure as dean, he has diversified the faculty, increased external funding, introduced post-tenure review, improved leave policies, made teaching load equitable, established professional programs and shepherded creation of a fiber optic network linking the Five Colleges Consortium in western Massachusetts. He has also introduced a first-year program to support new students in their transition to college, internationalized the curriculum, formed a group of presidents and deans of women’s universities around the world, started collaborative programs among northeast liberal arts colleges for department chair development, overseen four building projects (including a $32 million science construction and renovation project) and consolidated science and arts programming and planning.
A Harvard-trained mathematician and an avowed advocate of liberal arts education, O’Shea has been at Mount Holyoke since 1980. He previously headed sponsored research and chaired the college’s mathematics department. O’Shea earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Harvard University and his master’s and doctorate from Queens College, Ontario, a prominent Canadian Research I university. He has been a visiting professor in major universities in the U.S. and abroad (U. of Cambridge, UK; U. of Miami; U. of Hawaii; Universität Kaiserlautern, Germany; U. of Massachusetts, Amherst; Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Bures-sur-Yvette, France). He has six monographs to his credit and numerous research articles.
New College’s Presidential Search Committee members included Susan Burns (alumna), Charlene Callahan (former provost), Kathy Coffey, Audrey Coleman (trustee), Aron Edidin (faculty), Cindy Hill Ford (alumna), Renee Hamad, R.V. Heiser, Michael Long (student), Bob Johnson (trustee and chair), William Johnston (trustee), Pat McDonald (faculty), Felice Schulaner (alumna and trustee), Stewart Stearns, Tom Towler and Alex Wylie (student).
The longest-serving president in the history of New College, Mike Michalson has served as president of the College since July of 2001. At his retirement, he will have served as chief administrative officer of New College for 16 of the past 20 years, including five years as Dean and Warden (1992-1997) while the College was still part of the University of South Florida (USF). Following a one-year sabbatical, Michalson plans to rejoin the New College faculty as a professor of religion in the fall of 2013.