TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Christopher Rufo, Dr. Matthew Spalding, Dr. Charles R. Kesler, Dr. Mark Bauerlein, Debra Jenks, and Jason “Eddie” Speir to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees.

Christopher Rufo

Rufo is a Senior Fellow for the Manhattan Institute. He is also a writer and filmmaker. As a filmmaker, Rufo has directed four documentaries for PBS, Netflix, and international television, including America Lost, which tells the story of three “forgotten American cities.” In recent years, Rufo has led the fight against critical race theory in American institutions. Rufo’s research and activism inspired a presidential order and legislation in fifteen states, where he has worked closely with conservative governors and lawmakers to craft successful public policy. Rufo has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Rufo earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from Harvard University.

Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.

Spalding is the Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government at Hillsdale College and the Dean of the Van Andel Graduate School of Government at Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C., campus. As Vice President for Washington Operations, he also oversees the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship and the academic and educational programs of Hillsdale in the nation’s capital. Spalding earned his bachelor’s degree from Claremont- McKenna College and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Claremont Graduate School.

Charles R. Kesler, A.B., A.M., and Ph.D.

Kesler is the is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont-McKenna College and Editor of the Claremont Review of Books. Kesler is the author of many books, including most recently The Crisis of the Two Constitutions. Kesler earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate degree in government from Harvard University.

Mark Bauerlein, Ph.D.

Bauerlein has taught at Emory University since 1989, with a two-and-a-half-year break in 2003–‘05 to serve as the Director, Office of Research and Analysis, at the National Endowment for the Arts. Apart from his scholarly work, Bauerlein publishes in popular periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, TLS, and Chronicle of Higher Education. Bauerlein earned his doctorate in English from UCLA.

Debra Jenks

Jenks is a Partner and Attorney at Jenks & Harvey, LLP. She is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and currently serves on the Fourth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission. Jenks earned her bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida and earned her juris doctor from Lewis and Clark Law School.

Jason “Eddie” Speir

Speir is the Co-Founder, Chairman, and Superintendent of the Inspiration Academy. He was previously the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 3t Systems and Mortgage Cadence. Speir earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.



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