New revelations have come to light that would make for an excellent sitcom: the recently conservatism-kissed New College of Florida used the consulting firm Mercer, LLC, an impeccably progressive consulting firm, to conduct an executive compensation analysis underpinning the salary for the school’s new interim president. And it’s not like Mercer was hiding its worldviews – the company website is soaked in colorful hues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and is also rather well-seasoned in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, a pair of hot topics that tickle progressives while giving conservatives a scorching case of heartburn.
Serving as the Cupid of this strange love story is the Chair of the Search Committee, appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis himself, Dr. Matthew Spalding. The good doctor, who remains a staunch advocate for the conservative reforms being implemented at New College, appears to be the man who chose ultra-woke Mercer for the job, according to publicly available records. After a thorough scan of 13 peer institutions, Mercer delivered the golden number for the interim president’s salary – a range that would make any ordinary person choke on their coffee: $487,110 to $867,777 with total goodies rounding up between $893,641 – $1,547,324.
It’s not clear how Spalding or other conservatives could have missed Mercer’s very public love affair with the alphabet soup concepts including DEI and ESG, which are as refreshing as an ocean breeze to progressives, while rubbing most Florida conservatives like sand in the old swimming trunks. Mercer’s website is an unabashed smorgasbord of DEI delights, including enthusiastic endorsements of Juneteenth, Pride month, and even subtle, sleight-of-hand shifts from the universally beloved term “equality” on the company’s home page, to the multiple instances of the conservatively-loathed and politically-loaded term “equity” just one click away. This virtual DEI Disneyland further boasts an array of articles that would leave most self-respecting conservatives with an incurable eye-twitch.
The cherry-on-top of this deliciously ironic sundae is Richard Corcoran, the ultimate beneficiary of Mercer’s incredibly generous salary recommendation. Corcoran himself will undoubtedly suffer from the aforementioned eye affliction upon reading this article and seeing Mercer’s website for himself. For those who either forgot or never heard, his paycheck is a handsome $699,000 annually, with a few generous extras including a housing allowance of $84,000, a shiny $12,000 automobile stipend, and a yearly retirement supplement of $104,850. If that doesn’t make you reevaluate your career choices, I don’t know what will.
Get woke, go broke? Not this time. Thanks, Mercer!
Despite our best efforts, queries to the Office of the Governor, the Office of Jimmy Patronis, Mercer, and Corcoran’s New College of Florida were met with crickets. But we can’t blame them – they’re probably still trying to figure out how this right-meets-left, sitcom-worthy situation came to pass in the first place.