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New College of Florida interim president Richard Corcoran fires the school's diversity dean

A picture of the front of New College, with sign and trees
New College of Florida
The small liberal arts college in Sarasota whose student enrollment is approximately 700 has been the focus of Gov. Ron DeSantis' efforts to create a more conservative education model for Florida's public colleges and universities.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has made the elimination of diversity, equity and inclusion programs at Florida's public colleges and universities a legislative priority.

At a Feb. 28 meeting of the New College Board of Trustees — when the conservative majority voted to eliminate the school's Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence — it signaled approval of a recommendation to reassign the office's four full-time employees.

But last week, Interim President Richard Corcoran fired Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez, the school's dean for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

During the February meeting, board member Christopher Rufo made a motion to eliminate the DEI office and "authorize the interim president to make necessary or appropriate personnel decisions.”

When asked for comment, a New College spokesperson did not offer a reason for the dismissal. An email response simply stated that "the Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence has been abolished and the position is no longer necessary.”

In a media event hosted by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, Rufo called college DEI initiatives "a vehicle for left wing political activists to hijack public resources."

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