New College of Florida Appoints Patricia Okker as its Next President

The board of trustees of the New College of Florida in Sarasota has chosen Patricia Okker as president-elect. She is expected to assume her new duties on July 1.

The New College of Florida is a public, liberal arts honors institution that enrolls about 700 students. Women make up 63 percent of the student body.

Dr. Okker has served as dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri since 2017. She joined the University of Missouri as an assistant professor of English in 1990. She was promoted to full professor in 2004. From 2005 to 2011, Professor Okker chaired the English department at the university. Her teaching and research interests include 19th-century American literature, American women writers, American periodicals, career preparation in the liberal arts, and writing and wellness.

“One of the reasons I am so excited about New College’s future is that it has always combined my two great academic passions: affordable public education, and the arts and sciences,” Dr. Okker said. “But this is not simply a personal preference. New College has every reason to be optimistic about its future because the very things that make New College unique are precisely the things that students are demanding of higher education more broadly.”

Dr. Okker holds a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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