Richard McCullough was confirmed as the 16th president of Florida State University in June. During his four months in this role, he remained focused on the priorities that led to his selection.
Jim Murdaugh, president of Tallahassee Community College, introduced McCullough at the Economic Club of Florida luncheon on Wednesday discussing his professional accomplishments, including as a multi-business owner and former vice-president for research at Harvard University .
“I have had the opportunity to speak with him and we are very fortunate to have him at the helm as the current president of Florida State University,” said Murdaugh.
The event was McCullough’s first public address beyond the campus community.
A goal of almost doubling the grants and an increase in the recruitment of professors
Its aim was to further improve research opportunities and funding and to develop the entrepreneurial culture of FSU. He stressed that focusing on building these areas would not only be good for the school, but also beneficial for the community.
“One of the reasons that research grants and funds are so important to the community is that these dollars flow directly into the community if we build a strong research program at Florida State University,” said McCullough. “We will continue to pump money into the region in ways you may not be familiar with.”
The FSU President began by recognizing FSU’s rank among the top 20 public research universities in the country. Its goal is for FSU to become a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a group of 66 universities that have advanced research programs. Funding plays an important role in this plan and can help stimulate the economy by hiring people who will then put their money back into the community.
McCullough says their research programs, like the High Magnetic Field Laboratory home to the world’s most powerful magnets, have already brought in a huge amount of funding. Last year, FSU received more than $ 275 million from federal, state and other sources.
But, McCullough said it was nowhere near enough.
“We should be $ 500 million, not $ 275 million,” McCullough said during the meeting at the University Center Club at Doak Campbell Stadium. “If you look at Ohio State University, it brings in $ 684 million in research. The University of Pittsburgh, $ 850 million in research. So we should be at $ 500 million.
One of the reasons for this, he says, is the lack of teachers. The number of students at the university continues to increase, but the number of professors is lagging behind. McCollough began to rectify this problem by authorizing 150 new faculty searches, “the most we’ve ever had.” He believes this will further help him achieve his goal of bringing more research funding to campus.
Foster entrepreneurship among students and teachers
Its other goal is to build on FSU’s strong success in promoting entrepreneurship. In 2015, FSU received $ 100 million from Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation to establish the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship. Now in his fifth year, he’s been ranked # 1 in Florida and # 19 nationally in education and entrepreneurship by the Princeton Review.
“We are already seeing some things happening. There’s the new company called NightCap that got national attention with a little thing you put on your drink, so somebody doesn’t sting it in a bar, ”McCullough said of the company formed by Michael Benarde, a 2019 graduate of the college and his sister, Shirah Benarde. “They were on Shark Tank and they are off to a very good start. There are other really cool companies that we see that are really student run.
McCullough plans to encourage students and faculty to start their own businesses and create a policy to give students confidence in starting a business. He hopes these startups will attract workers and other large companies to Tallahassee.
McCullough closed by reminding everyone why FSU is a magnet to students around the world.
He proudly told attendees that FSU won the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 2021 Diploma Completion Award a few weeks ago. The award is recognized as one of the nation’s premier student achievement awards. He also said there had been a 75% increase in applications this year and the school did not have a fairness gap.
“I hope you come out of this and say that the state of Florida has seen tremendous momentum. We are doing a good job and the future is incredibly bright for the university,” McCullough said. has so many opportunities to take university to the next level and I am so lucky to be a part of it. ”
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Contact Democratic writer Dejania Oliver at [email protected]