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Legal Dispute: New College of Florida sues Alt New College – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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Last Updated on September 30, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

New College of Florida Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Online Learning Platform Alt New College

In a surprising turn of events, New College of Florida has sent a cease and desist letter to Alt New College, an online learning platform created by former students and campus leaders. Alt New College was established as an alternative institute to support academic freedom after what they claim was a hostile takeover of New College of Florida.

The main issue at hand is the alleged infringement on the “New College” trademark by Alt New College. The cease and desist letter demands that Alt New College remove any mention of the name from their website and materials. They have until October 6 to comply with these demands or face further legal action.

Nate March, spokesperson for New College of Florida, stated that while imitation may be flattering, in this case, it is highly illegal. The college believes that Alt New College is infringing on their trademark and thus, action must be taken. However, representatives from Alt New College have not yet commented on the situation.

The controversy surrounding New College of Florida does not stop there. The college has recently undergone significant changes, including the dissolution of the diversity department and the gender studies program. Additionally, there have been controversial staffing decisions made, resulting in numerous federal civil rights complaints.

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One such complaint involved disability access on the college’s website, which has since been settled. Another complaint alleges ongoing discrimination against protected groups, though it remains unclear if an investigation has been opened.

The changes at New College have not only stirred up legal troubles but also caused a housing crisis on campus. Many students have been forced to live off-campus due to mold issues and limited housing supply. This has resulted in over a third of faculty members leaving the college, leading to course cancellations and staffing vacancies.

Unsurprisingly, the situation has also affected student enrollment. Approximately 125 students have left New College, unable to bear the consequences of these changes. The college now faces the challenge of regaining its reputation and resolving the various issues it is currently facing.

As the deadline for compliance with the cease and desist letter approaches, the future of Alt New College remains uncertain. It remains to be seen how both sides will navigate this legal dispute and what impact it will have on the academic community.

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