New College freedom running smoothly

New College has been independent for only 9 days, but administrators for both the college and USF say that everything is still running smoothly.

Sweeping changes to many parts of the State University System went into effect July 1, including the dismantling of the Board of Regents, the initiation of 11 new university-controlling boards and the addition of Florida’s 11th public university.

New College, which has been under USF’s wing since 1975, has become its own autonomous university that will be controlled by its own Board of Trustees, which took control at the same time the school became independent.

Vice Provost Catherine Batsche said she was positive about the transition so far.

“This has gone so smoothly,” she said.

“We had only four weeks for the transition.”

Though it will be governed as a university, New College won’t be a major undergraduate and graduate degree school like its 10 siblings, according to Batsche.

“New college will not be referred to as a university, but as a four year liberal arts college,” Batsche said. “There is no graduate programs.”

But while New College has split from being governed by USF, it will still share many services with its former parent for the time being, including the campus.

“For at least the time being, USF Sarasota-Manatee is sharing the campus with New College,” said Jack Wheat, special assistant to President Judy Genshaft. “We had requested the funding to begin a new campus for USF Sarasota-Manatee, but that did not occur this year.”

In addition to its campus, New College will share most of the existing support infrastructure with USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“The combined campuses are allocated $5.2 million between the schools,” Batsche said.

“This money will now be split between the campuses. This is not new money, but money that is used to operate the physical plant, the police, maintenance and the library.”

New College will also fall under USF’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“There’s the issue of the accreditation process – it’s not a rapid process,” Wheat said. “The (SACS) has a number of detailed criteria that they review carefully before accreditation. I know it took a while for Florida Gulf Coast University, but they started their process after they started building, so it wasn’t long after their first classes they were accredited.”