New College President Richard Corcoran Secures $200k Incentive on Top of Hefty Salary

New College President Richard Corcoran Secures $200k Incentive on Top of Hefty Salary

Richard Corcoran, President of the New College of Florida, will receive $200,000 in incentive pay after the Board of Trustees approved a performance evaluation and released the funds on Thursday.

Corcoran has managed New College since February 2023, originally on an interim basis following a leadership shakeup at the school that drew national notice. In October, the trustees named him president permanently. According to a contract signed by the trustees and state university system authorities last year, Corcoran is eligible for $200,000 per year in incentive pay “based on his achievement of the goals and objectives” outlined in the employment agreement. The money approved on Thursday was his first $200,000 payment.

New College is by far the smallest school in the state university system, with 731 students enrolled in the fall 2023 semester. Corcoran, a former Republican House speaker and state education commissioner, was elected president after Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a conservative slate to the Board of Trustees. The new board members contributed to the removal of outgoing President Patricia Okker.

Corcoran’s incentive pay had eight objectives: increasing fundraising for New College, increasing “campus life inclusive of improvements to student housing, food services, adding sports;” re-envisioning the campus master plan, increasing campus safety and security, “faculty additions with growth and excellence;” increasing enrollment to 1,200 by the end of the fifth year, enriching academic programs and offerings, and increasing second-year

The memo listed “major milestones/deliverables” that Corcoran had reached. For example, under the area of boosting financing for New College, the paper mentioned $50 million in appropriations for the school in the current state budget. The press release described it as “the largest annual infusion of financial resources in the school’s history and more than the college has obtained in total in the last 10 years.”

Under the area of campus life improvements, a description stated that Corcoran oversaw expanded “student activities on campus, including upgrading facilities for (a) state-of-the-art pool, adding a new gym, and upgrading current dorms.”

Corcoran’s incentive pay will be in addition to his annual base salary of $699,000. The trustees adopted it without any discussion. But Trustee Amy Reid, the panel’s lone faculty member and the sole one who voted against releasing the cash, expressed worries about the monies coming from the New College Foundation.

“Has anyone consulted with the foundation about whether they have the money to pay for this? “I am concerned about the depletion of foundation funds,” Reid stated. Reid also stated that “some receipts submitted to the foundation are not paid on time,” and questioned if the $200,000 payout to Corcoran was a “viable” move.

Bill Galvano, the trustees’ general counsel and a Republican former state Senate president, confirmed that he had corresponded with the foundation. “That was an issue that had come up earlier,” Galvano said. “And so I confirmed that the foundation does have the funds and has set these funds aside.”

Trustee Matthew Spalding, one of the DeSantis appointees, supported Corcoran’s incentive compensation, citing the $50 million in state funds brought in by the president.

“I’m assuming that prior presidents also received bonuses. “This appears to be a well-earned bonus,” Spalding added.

Corcoran was evaluated by New College’s Presidential Evaluation Committee, which consisted of eight of the Board of Trustees’ thirteen members. Chairwoman Debra Jenks, who also serves as committee chair, was joined by trustees Ryan Anderson, Ron Christaldi, Joe Jacquot, Lance Karp, Grace Keenan, Don Patterson, and Christopher Rufo.

The committee recommended that Corcoran receive the entire amount of incentive pay. Meanwhile, Corcoran’s future compensation may exceed his base salary and incentive pay.

The remuneration package also contained an “accrued retention payment” of $200,000 for the first three years, which would be paid out in a lump sum of $600,000 in February 2026 if he stayed with the company. Corcoran would receive $100,000 per year in such rewards throughout the final two years of his five-year deal.


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