Florida State University


•  JANUARY 31, 2020 •

Dear Faculty,

I hope your new year is off to a great start! We’re only a few weeks into the spring semester, and there’s already a lot to talk about.

The Florida Legislature began its 2020 session earlier this month, and the Governmental Relations team and I have been diligently working to make sure legislators know that Florida State’s faculty and students are a wise investment.

As we continue our upward trajectory, we are asking the Legislature for funding that will allow us to continue to hire nationally recognized faculty, improve our faculty-student ratio and enrich Florida’s talent pipeline. We’re also asking legislators to provide the resources we need to give the hard-working faculty who are already here the recognition they deserve.

In addition, it's one of my top priorities to secure funding for the new College of Business Building and an Interdisciplinary Research and Commercialization Building so that we can break ground on these facilities in the coming year. This year’s FSU Day at the Capitol will take place Wednesday, Feb. 12, and I’m excited to showcase our No. 18 national ranking and top-notch programs.

This week, FSU had the opportunity to host the Florida Board of Governors for its regular meeting at the Turnbull Center. I was thrilled the BOG asked us to give a presentation during the meeting about the excellence of FSU’s arts programs. Our programs are highly regarded across the country and the world, and, most importantly, our arts students are graduating and getting top jobs in their fields. FSU has a long and proud history of being the home to some of our nation’s finest arts programs, and it was a joy to show them off!

It was also my pleasure to welcome a full house for the MLK Commemoration Celebration Jan. 21 featuring TV star, activist and Florida A&M alumnus Karamo Brown. The event concluded a week of activities that gave our campus community an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s vision of a diverse nation where all people enjoy the benefits of equality.

As a part of the annual celebration, a faculty member, administrator or staff member is recognized for his or her outstanding service in keeping with the principles and ideals of Dr. King. This year’s winner is Huan Chen, a visiting research faculty member at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, who was honored for advancing the diversity and research mission of the MagLab and FSU. Congratulations, Huan!

On Jan. 23, I had the opportunity to participate in the Master’s in Applied American Politics and Policy’s “MAAPP @ the Cap,” a daylong event at the Florida Capitol. Professor Bob Crew helped found the MAAPP program 20 years ago, and he has built one of the nation’s premier programs for hands-on training and applied learning for political professionals. Students had a chance to interact with alumni in high-level staff positions in the Florida Cabinet and Legislature, and we marked the program’s anniversary and honored Professor Crew during a luncheon at the Jim Moran Building.

Earlier this month, scientists from all over the world traveled to Tallahassee to honor the life’s work of National High Magnetic Field Laboratory Director Greg Boebinger during a scientific symposium on convergence research. Under his direction, the MagLab has forged new partnerships, broken new records, made new discoveries and further enhanced its reputation as the largest and most high-powered magnet laboratory in the world. It was a wonderful event that recognized the tremendous impact Greg has made in the scientific community, especially at the MagLab, and I was happy to be a part of it.

I’d also like to congratulate Associate Professor of Philosophy Nathanael Stein for receiving a highly competitive grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship will allow Nat to take a yearlong sabbatical to complete his forthcoming book on Aristotle. He is one of 81 NEH Fellowship winners nationwide this year and one of only six winners who are conducting projects in philosophy.

Finally, I hope you all are taking care of yourselves during this cold and flu season. My team is closely monitoring advisories and updates concerning the coronavirus, and we will continue to let you know if there are any developments that may affect our campus community. Check alerts.fsu.edu for information about the coronavirus or anytime you have questions about the university’s operational status.

It’s been a great semester so far, and I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback as FSU continues to achieve at the highest levels. Send me an email or follow me on Twitter at @FSUPresThrasher. I especially enjoy hearing about your research and creative activities, and I’ve included a few news clips below.

I look forward to all we will accomplish together in 2020!


FSU Faculty in the News

Florida State University

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