Florida State University


•  APRIL 26, 2018 •

Dear Faculty,

It’s been a very full and productive spring semester for Florida State University! I can’t believe commencement is just around the corner.

Earlier this week, Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht and I traveled to Chicago for a summit on Greek Life where I participated on a panel with former President Eric Barron, now at Penn State, and LSU President King Alexander. More than 50 university leaders attended the summit held at the Big Ten Conference headquarters, and I was pleased that President Barron invited us to represent Florida State on this important issue.

There are a lot of people across the nation working hard to create positive, healthy changes in fraternity and sorority life, and this meeting was a good first step in identifying meaningful solutions. I am optimistic that our students will continue to embrace this culture shift on our own campus and be an example for other universities.

Earlier this spring, the Florida Legislature passed the 2018-2019 state budget, and we received funding for several important initiatives, including preeminence, faculty hiring and graduate student excellence.

In addition, FSU was one of just three universities to receive PECO funds. We received funding for the Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science Building, the Interdisciplinary Research and Commercialization Building, the College of Business Legacy Hall and a hurricane special needs shelter at Florida State University Schools.

We are extremely grateful to the legislative leaders for their support. Legislators were faced with many unexpected costs this year, and to receive this level of funding in such a difficult budget year was extraordinary.

We are always looking for ways to enhance and beautify our campus and the community, and I am very pleased that the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, which is made up of both the county and city commissioners, approved a plan in March to include a new road through our Southwest Campus.

This new road will provide a more attractive “gateway” and vastly improve access from the Tallahassee Airport to FSU’s main campus and downtown. The road also will showcase the future redesign of the Don Veller Seminole Golf Course and the new IRCB building.

Speaking of our Southwest Campus, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory received some big news a couple of weeks ago. The National Science Foundation has awarded the MagLab $184 million over the next five years. The renewal grant represents a 10 percent increase over the last five-year funding period and will allow the lab to remain headquartered at FSU.

We appreciate the NSF’s confidence in FSU to continue to operate the world’s most powerful magnet lab. The lab brings more than 1,700 scientists from around the globe to Tallahassee every year to conduct research that benefits society.

If you haven’t already, check out the new Innovation Hub in the Shores Building. It’s equipped with so many technologies and techniques our students and faculty can use or learn about, and it is really exciting to see how Florida State is carrying out its strategic goal of deepening our commitment to continuous innovation. I took a tour during DIGITECH and was blown away by our students’ ideas and inventions.

As you may know, the campus is saying its final farewell to the “old” Oglesby Union this week during a series of commemorative events to honor the facility where so many memories were made. On May 7, we’ll start taking down most of the building complex to make room for a new state-of-the-art facility that is scheduled to open in fall 2020. The new Oglesby Union will be an amazing asset where we can engage with our students in a more functional, modernized space.

Also, congratulations are in order for Pam Perrewé, who was recently selected as the 2018-2019 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor. Pam joined the faculty in 1984 and has distinguished herself as a teacher, scholar and faculty athletics representative. This honor is well-deserved.

Next week, we’ll celebrate one of the happiest times in the academic life of a university — graduation! For the first time, FSU will hold four spring commencement ceremonies to better accommodate the increasing number of students who are participating in the ceremonies and their guests.

Our undergraduate students are graduating in fewer years and at a higher rate than ever before. Our 4-year graduation rate places us in the Top 20 nationally! That’s incredible, and it’s really a credit to you — our top-notch faculty — and our outstanding students.

You probably already know that we received a record number of applications for undergraduate admission this year. More and more students are showing an interest in attending graduate school at FSU, too. Applications for admission to graduate school for the summer have seen a 91 percent increase!

That reflects the rising reputation of our graduate programs. In fact, FSU’s programs in criminology, business, law, education, nursing and engineering all made significant jumps in U.S. News and World Report’s new edition of Best Graduate Schools, released in March.

Congratulations to all of you on another spectacular academic year! Your dedication and commitment to educating students and elevating Florida State to higher national prominence inspire me every day!

Enjoy the final days of the spring semester, and please continue to share your ideas with me and keep me posted on all the exciting news throughout campus.


Watch! Pam Perrewé selected Lawton Distinguished Professor

FSU Faculty in the News

Florida State University

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