Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed Joseph Jacquot to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees as a replacement for Eddie Speir, who failed to earn confirmation from the Florida Senate earlier this month. Jacquot, a Jacksonville lawyer and former General Counsel for the Governor’s Office, will bring his legal expertise to the trustee board. He is currently a shareholder at Gunster, a statewide corporate law firm, and earned his law degree at the University of Florida. Jacquot is also a Navy veteran and a member of Leadership Florida.
The appointment of Jacquot comes after the Florida Senate confirmed six New College trustees appointed by DeSantis but failed to sign off on Speir, who was appointed to the board in January along with a slate of other new trustees. The Senate’s move was attributed to interference by New College’s Interim President Richard Corcoran. Initially, there was uncertainty about the reappointment of Speir by DeSantis, however, legislators made it apparent that he would not receive confirmation again.
New College of Florida is a small liberal-arts school in Sarasota, and DeSantis and other state officials have been trying to remake the institution. The appointment of Jacquot is seen as a step towards achieving this goal, as he brings a wealth of legal experience to the board. His confirmation will come before the Senate next year.
Jacquot previously served as general counsel for DeSantis from the time the governor was inaugurated in 2019 through October of 2020. His appointment to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees is the latest in a series of appointments of DeSantis acolytes to key positions in the state. DeSantis has been criticized for politicizing appointments and using his power to advance his political agenda. However, supporters argue that he is simply appointing qualified individuals who share his vision for the state.
As the 2023 legislative session comes to a close, the appointment of Jacquot to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees is a significant development in the ongoing efforts to remake the institution. With his legal expertise and experience in government, Jacquot is expected to play an important role in shaping the future of the school. His appointment is likely to be scrutinized by lawmakers and the public in the coming months, as the debate over the direction of New College of Florida continues.
0. “Gov. DeSantis names former counsel to New College trustee board” Florida Politics, 19 May. 2023, https://floridapolitics.com/archives/613448-gov-desantis-names-former-counsel-to-new-college-trustee-board/
1. “Joe Jacquot Latest DeSantis Acolyte Appointed to New College Board” FlaglerLive.com, 20 May. 2023, https://flaglerlive.com/joe-jacquot-latest-desantis-acolyte-appointed-to-new-college-board