Florida State University


•  AUGUST 24, 2017 •

Dear Faculty,

Welcome back! I can already feel the energy and enthusiasm building on campus as we look forward to another fantastic school year at Florida State University! 

To our new faculty members, we are thrilled you are a part of the FSU family. It was a pleasure to see many of you at New Faculty Orientation earlier this week. It won’t take you long to find out that FSU is a truly special place to call your academic home.

We say this every year, but the academic profile of the freshmen we accept keeps getting better and better. This will likely be our brightest freshman class ever. The accepted students have an average GPA of 4.1 and a composite ACT score of 29. That’s remarkable!

And, with 6,500 students, it’s likely to be one of our biggest freshman classes after receiving a record number of applications last spring. More than 42,000 students applied to FSU, a 16 percent jump over the previous year! Those numbers show a strong demand for a Florida State education, and it’s a testament to FSU’s rising academic reputation. 

Along with welcoming thousands of new faces, we also are launching some new academic programs and opening a few buildings.

The new Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship welcomes its first class of 80 juniors this fall. This is a big step forward in advancing our commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship education. The home of the Jim Moran School, located on Monroe Street in downtown Tallahassee, is scheduled to open its doors in December.

We also added a much sought-after graduate program for physician assistants through the College of Medicine. Forty students will make up the first class in the School of Physician Assistant Practice. The 27-month program awards graduates with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice and is designed to follow Florida State’s unique community-based approach to medical education. This is another way FSU is meeting the health care needs of the citizens of Florida!

If you have driven down Jefferson Street, you may have noticed the opening of two new residence halls — Azalea and Magnolia. And let me assure you these are not the “dormitories” we had on campus when I was a student. Azalea Hall features a new concept that no other FSU residence hall has: its own 24,000-square-foot dining area, “1851,” which offers a variety of micro-dining options for students, faculty, staff and the community.

The arts are an important part of the Florida State fabric, and for the past two decades Opening Nights has distinguished itself as one of the premier performing arts programs in the country. Opening Nights will mark its 20th anniversary with a diverse season of best-in-class artists, popular favorites and past performers. If you haven’t experienced an Opening Nights performance, I encourage you to check out the lineup and become a member.

Florida State’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus community has been one of my top priorities, and now, maybe more than ever, it’s important to make that clear. That’s because having a multicultural student body, faculty and staff enriches the academic environment for all of us. 

I want everyone to feel welcome and that they have a voice here. But we will never allow freedom of expression to infringe on the rights of others or threaten personal safety. 

In times like these, institutions of higher learning can — and should be — leaders. I can assure you that I will continue to speak out against the efforts of those who would attempt to divide us based on our differences. Because no matter what our race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or political views — at Florida State, we share the values of respect and civility. Please reinforce these values with your students and encourage them to uphold the garnet and gold. 

I feel incredibly fortunate to work with such a creative and talented group of faculty. I know your efforts will keep Florida State on the path of rising national prominence. 

Please remember, I love hearing about your research and achievements, so feel free to email me with your good news. Also, I have included some media clips featuring your top-notch work below. 

I hope you have a great fall semester!


FSU Faculty in the News

Florida State University

Office of the President
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland St.
Tallahassee, FL 32306