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More than one-third of the faculty—36 members—has left the New College of Florida within the past year, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Provost Bradley Thiessen called it a “ridiculously high” number for an institution with fewer than 100 full-time professors.

While some of the departures were long-planned retirements or sabbaticals, many others were driven by Governor Ron DeSantis’s conservative overhaul of the liberal arts college through the appointment of six new trustees.  

Biology and neuroscience professor Liz Leininger told The Tampa Bay Times she started looking for a new job the same day the new trustees were announced; she accepted a position at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, leaving New College’s neuroscience department with just one faculty member.

“I felt a little guilty,” Leininger told the paper. “I want to support New College students, but I told them, ‘I can support you even from afar.’”

The departures have created gaping holes in the college’s course catalog, which Thiessen said would require cutting some underenrolled classes.

“The majority of faculty who have left have not given us any kind of consideration, or notice, or thought or anything,” interim president Richard Corcoran said at a board of trustees meeting July 6. 

To help fill the gaps, New College has recruited 10 new visiting faculty, with another six positions under negotiation, Thiessen told the Times.