New College of Florida has fired librarian Helene Gold, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported, making her the second LGBTQ+ employee dismissed by the college this year. NCF is undergoing a conservative makeover driven by new trustees and interim president Richard Corcoran.
Gold—who served as associate dean of academic engagement at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library—questioned the move in a statement that said she was fired without notice three weeks before the end of the semester. Gold suggested the move “feels like a deliberate and targeted attack on our students who need support now more than ever. Removing a key figure from the college’s academic support team does not serve in the college’s or students’ best interest and feels like it was intended to actively demoralize and destabilize our community.”
A news release from the group Save New College indicated that “reorganization” was the reason listed for Gold’s dismissal and she was fired “during a high-demand time for librarian support.”
College officials did not respond to a request for comment.
NCF has attracted national attention for efforts by Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, to reshape the state institution in the image of a conservative, private college, beginning in January with the appointment of six new conservative trustees. The new trustees pushed out president Patricia Okker, claiming the college was ailing under her watch, and hired Corcoran, a former Republican state lawmaker.
NCF trustees have made headlines in recent months for eliminating the college’s diversity, equity, and inclusion office—a move DeSantis hopes to replicate across the state by defunding DEI efforts. Last week the college denied tenure to five professors who had been confirmed at every other stage of the process and were awaiting the last step, which was approval from the board.