Academic freedom lawsuit dropped against New College

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NCF Freedom voluntarily dismissed the case without prejudice.

A group suing New College of Florida for violating student and faculty academic freedom has dropped its lawsuit.

NCF Freedom filed a motion on to voluntarily dismiss the case within the courts. The dismissal was filed without prejudice.

New College President Richard Corcoran said he welcomed the chance for the school to put the litigation in the past.

“We are crossing the Rubicon,” Corcoran said in a statement. “New College of Florida is making significant progress toward becoming the top liberal arts college in the nation. It is time to put this lawsuit behind us and come together to realize the immense potential of New College as a thriving educational institution.”

NCF Freedom had filed the legislation in an effort to blunt a conservative overhaul of the honors college driven by Gov. Ron DeSantis. After DeSantis appointed a number of new trustees for New College, many of them nationally known conservatives, the school fired its President and replaced her with Corcoran. A significant overturn of students and faculty followed.

“NCFF seeks to improve New College in a manner that avoids unethical, improper or illegal actions by the State, the Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, or the Administration that will harm the mission and future of the college,” reads the group’s website. “We believe that the most effective way of keeping these actors accountable is to settle our disputes in the court of law.”

The new administration defended the changes at the school, and said New College is on stronger financial footing as a result. The school last fall saw a record number of first-time-in-college and transfer enrollments. It has also moved forward with a new Campus Master Plan and started a significant renovation of its Pei-designed dormitories.

The college’s new sports programs were the recent subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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