College welcomes new general counsel

David A. Fugett, who began work last week as New College’s general counsel, brings high-level experience in the state Capitol to the College’s leadership team.

Fugett most recently served as the Florida Department of State’s general counsel, the agency’s chief legal officer, after joining the department in 2015 as the chief litigation attorney. Previously, he had been with Florida’s Office of the Attorney General for two years.

Fugett says he was looking for a position that would allow him to live closer to family in the Tampa Bay area. He spotted the general counsel position on a website, and started doing his homework.

“The more I learned about New College, the more interested I became,” he said. “I really like the how the school values the unique individuality of each student and, even more, how it sets each student up academically for four years of rigorous experiential, hands-on learning that is driven by the student and directly assisted by faculty mentors.

“I appreciate how this allows students to craft an academic plan of specific interest to them which leads to unique and special research projects and internships that have a real, practical application to the field the student has chosen to study.”

As a longtime Floridian, having lived here for nearly 30 years, he also appreciated New College as part of the Florida public college and university system.

At the Department of State, Fugett advised Secretary of State Ken Detzner and department managers on administrative, legislative and policy matters. He oversaw all litigation and served as the department’s ethics officer. He worked in diverse areas of the law, from elections to treasure salvage to library services.

At the attorney general’s office, he was with the Complex Civil Enforcement Bureau, where he was lead attorney on more than 60 Medicaid whistleblower cases, and worked with the federal Justice Department and other agencies on cases that spanned multiple states.

Previously, he worked at law firms in the Pensacola, West Palm Beach and Miami areas.

His career also allowed him to occasionally support colleges and universities. Recently, he worked with the College of Central Florida as lead negotiator to acquire an art collection. He also serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Toccoa Falls College, in north Georgia. Fugett received his law degree from the University of Georgia.

Fugett is happy to have joined New College at a pivotal time.

“New College has an outstanding record of producing exceptional students in every aspect of academia that it touches,” he said.  “Add to this a beautiful campus and a leadership team that is preparing a strategic growth plan and it seemed like something worth taking part in. I am grateful that the school has allowed me to be a part of it by serving as general counsel.”


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bay front campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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