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Richard Corcoran's New College contract puts him among the highest paid state university presidents

Small windows with different people from a virtual meeting.
New College of Florida Board of Trustees
Meghan Bowman
New College of Florida's Board of Trustees meets virtually to approve Richard Corcoran's contract on Oct. 20. The new president will be among the highest paid university presidents in the state.

The five-year compensation package puts him on par with the state's highest-paid college president, at the University of Florida. UF has over 55,000 students. Less than 700 attend New College.

The New College of Florida Board of Trustees voted on a 5-year compensation package for president Richard Corcoran on Friday, making him one of the highest paid college presidents in the state.

Corcoran will be paid up to $1.1 million a year, including bonuses and benefits.

His compensation breaks down to a base annual salary of $699,000. Annual benefits will include $96,000 in housing and car allowances, up to $200,000 for a performance bonus and deferred compensation of over $100,000.

He has the opportunity to make retention bonus of $200,000 a year to be paid after his third year. The retention bonus drops to $100,000 a year for years four and five.

Board of Trustees Vice Chair Ron Christaldi negotiated Corcoran's contract. He told trustees the amount was considered "fair market value."

"Fundamentally, this contract is not about what we pay an individual," he said. "In my opinion, it's about how we achieve the goals of this institution, through the hiring of a president, and how we align those president's goals and contractual terms with those goals and vision and objectives of the university."

Corcoran's total compensation puts him on par with the highest-paid college president in the state, University of Florida's Ben Sasse. UF has over 55,000 students, compared to under 700 at New College.

Amy Reid is the faculty representative on the board, she voted against the new contract.

"I do think that it's important to see this is not a short-term contract," she said. "The previous president was ousted after just 18 months. And I think that that was unfortunate, and led to a lot of the instability that we're now seeing in this program."

New College's previous president, Patricia Okker, was fired earlier this year by the trustees. Corcoran's salary is more than double that of Okker, who made $305,000 annually with a housing and automobile stipends that totaled $48,000.

The new contract will now go before the State University System Florida Board of Governors for approval.

Nothing about my life has been typical. Before I fell in love with radio journalism, I enjoyed a long career in the arts in musical theatre.