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New College Selects University Of Missouri Educator As Its President

Courtesy: New College
Following a national search, Patricia Okker was selected as president-elect of New College on April 20, 2021.

Patricia Okker has served as the University of Missouri's dean of the College of Arts and Science since 2017.

New College on Tuesday selected its new president-elect following a national search.

After interviewing 12 applicants out of a national pool of more than 130 candidates, and narrowing that list to five finalists, officials say they have chosen Patricia Okker to lead the school.

“So many individuals offered input during this process, which was tremendously valuable,” Presidential Search Committee Chair Mary Ruiz, who also chairs the New College Board of Trustees, said in a news release. “Their active engagement was a welcome and essential part of our search. It was truly a community effort.”

Okker joined the University of Missouri as an assistant professor of English in 1990. Since 2017, she has served as the university's dean of the College of Arts and Science.

“One of the reasons I am so excited about New College’s future is that it has always combined my two great academic passions: affordable public education, and the arts and sciences," Okker said in the release. "But this is not simply a personal preference. New College has every reason to be optimistic about its future because the very things that make New College unique are precisely the things that students are demanding of higher education more broadly.”

The Florida Board of Governors will vote to confirm Okker's hiring during a public meeting on June 23 at USF's St. Petersburg campus.

She would replace Donal O'Shea, the school's president since 2012 who announced plans to retire last October.

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