After a decade at the helm of New College of Florida, president Gordon E. “Mike” Michalson, Jr., has decided to retire as president and return to the classroom.
The retirement is effective July 1, 2012, and after a one-year sabbatical, Michalson plans to rejoin the New College faculty as a professor of religion at the Sarasota school in the fall of 2013, according to a news release.
Michalson has served as president of New College since July of 2001, when the college gained independence as the honors college of the state of Florida. At his retirement, he will have served as chief administrative officer of New College for 16 of the past 20 years, including five years as dean and warden (1992-1997), while the college was still part of the University of South Florida.
“Clearly there comes a time when an institution benefits from fresh vision and renewed energy,” stated Michalson in announcing his decision. “While I’m certainly proud to have provided stability during the college’s transition to full independence and national recognition, my sense is that now is an excellent moment to begin the next chapter in New College’s history, as underscored by this year’s celebration of the college’s 50 th anniversary.”
Michalson is the longest-serving president in the history of New College.
“I cannot emphasize too strongly what an honor it has been to serve as New College’s president during this dynamic period in its history,” continued Michalson in the news release. “I am proud to have been part of such a wonderful team over this past decade, since the college’s success truly reflects a collective effort.”
Michalson’s retirement was accepted by former state Sen. Bob Johnson, chair of the New College Board of Trustees.
“President Michalson's announcement marks the culmination of the greatest years in New College’s history,” stated Johnson. “The leadership transition team put in place 11 years ago resulted in numerous national achievements and record numbers of graduates who have become Gates, Fulbright, Truman, National Science Foundation or other Fellows. Without President Michalson's leadership, vision and passion for liberal arts education these successes could not have happened. He has been a personal mentor and friend, and I’m gratified that Mike plans to remain in our community as a New College professor.”
Recognized as a foremost scholar on Immanuel Kant and the philosophy of religion, Michalson is the author of four books and currently has a contract pending with Cambridge University Press for a new scholarly book.