Response to NCF Faculty's Comments

Corcoran's Appointment and What Guides a Trustee

Here are Chris Kottke’s, Associate Professor of Mathematics, comments from our Trustee Meeting on February 21st:

Trustees: I recognize and respect your authority to hire, fire, and appoint an interim president. I find two things disturbing, however. The first is that Corcoran’s appointment was announced by a Governor’s spokesperson before the January 31 board meeting had even begun, as if it were a done deal. The second is the egregious size of this compensation package, which is way out of line with SUS salaries given our size, will raid our endowment, and is frankly embarrassing when our financial priorities should be focused on student outcomes and crumbling infrastructure. It’s just a really bad look.

I pose a question to each of you, individually, about your role. Do you understand yourself to be a trustee in the true sense of an independent steward, charged with acting in the best interests of our institution, given its unique mission, history, and identity? Or rather do you understand yourself to be a delegate, sent to represent and enact the political will of your appointor, at any cost?

This question is extremely important. To those of you who can honestly answer as trustees, not delegates, I look forward to working with you.

So, with some explanation and a few clarifications, I look forward to working with you as well.

Here are some timestamps to make it easier:

:50 Truth, Trust, and Teamwork. It is the best way of doing business and relationships.

2:05 My response to Richard Corcoran’s appointment —Why I thought he was the best person for the job.

6:05 My empathy for Grace Keenan’s principled stand against the financial size of Corcoran’s agreement.

6:45 Risk mitigation and opportunity cost make it easy for me to agree to Corcoran’s compensation.

7:50 Avoiding qualification and implied definitions of a Trustee and clarifying my role by nothing more than my oath and all of the civil and administrative laws therein.

9:50 Correction, I meant to say we are a “Constitutional republic of democratically ELECTED officials.” not democratically appointed officials.

This took a while to upload, but since the time of this video, it is worth noting the correlation between Interim President Corcoran’s appointment and New College of Florida receiving an additional $15 million in operating budget for the current fiscal year. This is a big endorsement of our decision as a Board and an exciting harbinger of things to come.

Eddie Speir's Substack
Eddie Speir's Substack
Eddie Speir