Dr. Gordon E. Michalson, Jr. served as President of New College of Florida from July of 2001 until June 30, 2012, when he retired as President and returned to his full-time teaching as Professor of Humanities at New College. As Dean and Warden of New College when it was still affiliated with the University of South Florida, he was the College’s chief academic officer between 1992 and 1997. A specialist in the philosophy of religion, “Mike” Michalson is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale, holds a Master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and earned his Ph.D. “With Distinction” from Princeton University.
Dr. Michalson taught at Davidson College from 1975-77, before beginning fifteen years on the faculty of Oberlin College, where he chaired the Religion Department and directed the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London program. The author of four books and a noted authority on the religious thought of Immanuel Kant, he served as the American consulting editor of The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought. The recipient of five research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he was also an NEH “Distinguished Scholar” at Bucknell University. Dr. Michalson was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University in 2001 and also has held visiting posts at Yale, Princeton, and Linacre College, Oxford.
He is a past president of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities and of the Southern University Conference, both associations of college and university presidents. He served three years as a trustee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges, the region’s higher education accrediting agency. His other board affiliations have included the Leroy Collins Institute at FSU, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Humanity Working to End Genocide and the Children’s Guardian Fund. He lives in Sarasota with his wife, Susannah. Their son, Elliott, is a student at Tulane University.