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President of New College to retire next year

Donal O’Shea will step down in June after eight years at the helm of the Sarasota school.

Donal O’Shea, president of New College, announced Tuesday he would be stepping down at the end of the academic year.

O’Shea, 68, came to New College from Mount Holyoke College in 2012. During his tenure, the college received $9 million to increase its enrollment and boost graduation rates. He was also involved in securing funds to expand the Heiser Natural Sciences Complex on campus and in engaging private donors for student scholarship gifts.

He also created a consortium of five colleges and universities in Sarasota and Bradenton, the Cross College Alliance, that allowed for faculty collaboration and students to cross register for courses and social activities.

“It has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to have served in this role for what will soon be nine years. I am deeply grateful to all who have made that possible,” O’Shea said in a statement released by the university.

New College is one of 12 schools in Florida’s State University System. It is home to about 800 students and 80 faculty on a 110-acre campus straddling Sarasota Bay.

A search firm will be hired to lead the candidate recruitment process for a successor, the university’s statement said. The new president, it said, will be chosen by a search committee composed of students, faculty, alumni, university trustees and foundation and community members.