At New College, we’re doing the right thing and will not yield | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Former House Speaker Richard Corcoran, now the president of New College, is shown here with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Former House Speaker Richard Corcoran, now the president of New College, is shown here with Gov. Ron DeSantis. [ TNS ]
Published Dec. 9, 2023

New day at New College

Report flags Fla. higher ed | Dec. 7

We acknowledge that our passion and stance for educational freedom will be criticized by those who hold different perspectives. What many do not know is that for many decades, New College has faced significant challenges including deteriorating facilities and declining enrollment. It became imperative to develop a plan for growth before the school went insolvent, even if not all decisions during the transition were universally embraced. Florida has always valued educational choice and freedom, principles we proudly espouse. Reports such as the American Association of University Professors’ Report of a Special Committee shed extreme light on the polarized landscape taking place in higher education, and our position on classic liberal arts and educational freedom is a stance on which we will not yield.

New College’s focus lies in the incredible opportunities ahead for our growing student body, faculty and staff, and we remain diligently committed to this. As we go forward into 2024, I look forward to coming together as a collective community of educators, faculty and students who have traversed beyond the sensational press, and focus our inspiration on the rich history of excellence that has always been the baseline of New College.

It is important to note that the AAUP’s report does not align with our vision for New College nor the support we experience from our faculty and students. We are committed to cultivating a growing environment that encourages free inquiry, expression and academic rigor. Our aspiration is to redefine higher education, fostering an era where profound scholarship and purposeful education thrive. We extend an open invitation to visit our campus and welcome collaboration in building a more promising future for New College and higher education as a whole.

Richard Corcoran, president of New College of Florida

A coach’s pay

President of USF is awarded a $300K bonus | Dec. 7

What in the world are the trustees of the University of South Florida thinking by providing the mere president, Rhea Law, a total compensation package of $955,000. Do they think she is the head football coach or something?

Charles Chamberlain, Spring Hill

Investing in education

Report flags Fla. higher ed | Dec. 7

I read about the American Association of University Professors’ assessment of higher education in Florida with much dismay. I once had a great deal of faith and confidence in our state university system. When my daughter was a toddler, I purchased four years of tuition through the Florida Prepaid program. She got an excellent education at Florida State University and is now a successful professional. I regret to say that I no longer have that confidence in our state university system. If I were a young parent today, I would not participate in the Florida Prepaid program, but would instead contribute to an education savings account so that my son or daughter could choose to attend a university in any state, preferably not one that is so micromanaged and politicized as those in Florida.

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Robert Trehy, St. Petersburg

Phoning it in

Phones stowed, lesson learned | Dec. 6

My son went to Palm Harbor University High School about 12 years ago. Cellphones were confiscated until the end of the school year if they were out during school hours. I think that was a good plan. I also taught in a private school for a short time, a few years ago, where every student had a device; phone, laptop or tablet. There was an online curriculum, but no books, so students had to have a device. I did not give homework because they would look it up at home. I also had students trying to use their device during tests. One girl had her phone in her purse on her desk with her purse open so she could see her phone. I asked her to put her purse on the floor until she was finished. She did not do well on the second half of the test. Although the answers can be found online easily, to understand math requires learning how to use rules to solve problems.

Dave Hinz, Clearwater

Dictator for a day

Trump tells Hannity he’d be a dictator for just a day | Dec. 7

In a recent Fox News softball pitch-and-catch with Sean Hannity, Donald Trump promised that he would confine any dictatorial yearnings he might have to just his first day in office, during which he would close the border with Mexico and give his pals in the fossil fuel industry free rein to “drill, drill, drill.” Of course, closing that 2,100-mile border would upend the lives and livelihoods of untold thousands of people on both sides who routinely cross over to work, shop, attend school, etc. Not to mention the economic havoc that would be caused by halting the flow of many millions of dollars in daily trade, as was amply demonstrated when the governor of Texas closed that state’s border crossings for a brief period recently. As far as drilling is concerned, this promise will gladden the hearts of the record number of fossil fuel industry representatives who have appeared in Dubai and who are suspected of attempting to hijack the objectives of the COP28 meeting on combating climate change. All in a wannabe dictator’s first day at work with just two strokes of his pen.

Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center

A financial fumble

A $1M pledge if ‘Noles pursue legal action | Dec. 6

So our illustrious governor has decided to waste $1 million of taxpayer money to fund a useless lawsuit about the college football playoffs? It’s not coming out of his pocket. Don’t we have a say in how our taxes are spent?

Rick Cortese, Tampa