Florida State University


•  DECEMBER 12, 2017 •

Dear Faculty,

It’s been another successful year for Florida State University! 

We climbed five spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, brought in a record amount of NIH research funding and were recognized as a national leader in campus diversity and internationalization.

Those accomplishments — and so many more positive achievements — add to our momentum as we use our strategic plan to guide us to even higher levels of excellence in the coming years.  

I was pleased to have the opportunity to review 2017 — a truly transformative year for FSU — and outline our goals for the future in my recent State of the University address at the December Faculty Senate meeting. It was wonderful to see so many of you there and introduce you to our new head football coach, Willie Taggart, who made it clear he is committed to student success! If you were not able to attend, you can view the webcast here.

It was a joy to host one of my favorite events of the year in November, the Transformation Through Teaching Awards dinner, where students recognize faculty who have changed their lives. Fourteen professors were honored at the dinner, but the truth is, all of you transform students’ lives every single day.

Inspiring students is truly a team effort, and we are grateful for the incredible support of our alumni and friends. Last week, the Faculty Senate recognized four individuals for their significant contributions to the university’s academic excellence at the annual Torch Awards dinner. I want to thank Jan Moran, Professor Emeritus Kirby Kemper, Guy Spearman and Ashbel “Ash” C. Williams for their roles in lifting this university to higher national prominence.

Last week, Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander and I hosted a reception at the Florida House on Capitol Hill for legislators and FSU alumni working in the corridors of Washington, D.C. The evening was a great success, and we were happy to see so many members of the Florida delegation there, including Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Congressmen Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, John Rutherford, Darren Soto and Daniel Webster. They are great advocates of the work we do here at Florida State, and I am thankful for their support. 

As we come to the end of the semester, commencement is right around the corner. It’s a pleasure to have two accomplished members of the FSU family as our commencement speakers — Jeff Chanton, this year’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, and Judy Schmeling, chief operating officer of HSN Inc. and president of HSN’s Cornerstone Brands. If you can’t be there in person, you can check out the webcast.

Please continue to share your ideas and feedback with me. I also love hearing about your research and creative activities and seeing the headlines you are generating around the world. Below are a few that caught my eye.

Please enjoy a safe and relaxing winter break, and I look forward to seeing you in 2018. I know it will be another terrific year for this great university!


Watch! 2017 Florida State University Year in Review

FSU Faculty in the News

Florida State University

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Florida State University
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