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Goal II

Amplifying Excellence Across our Academic and Research Programs

The Florida State name and an FSU degree should command respect and open doors around the world. Our successes in undergraduate retention and degree completion are rightly considered standard-setting among public universities. But FSU’s reputation for excellence is also rooted in the quality of our academic programs and research, and raising our profile in this regard takes concerted, significant investment on many fronts at once: attracting and retaining top faculty talent; becoming a destination for the brightest graduate students; encouraging high-impact interdisciplinary inquiry; and developing innovative teaching strategies. To serve the needs of our students, our scholars, and our state, we will ensure that FSU is synonymous with breakthrough thinking in every respect.

  1. Define and develop an FSU “faculty for the future”
    FSU’s faculty remain highly attuned to the importance of cross-disciplinary inquiry and to the needs and aspirations of an increasingly diverse student body. We’ll support the development of new pedagogies and modes of inquiry necessary to anticipate and respond to these changes.

    • Identify the most critical characteristics faculty of the future will need to thrive and help their students thrive. These should become criteria for the hiring of new faculty and the professional development of all faculty.
    • Align faculty hiring with the strategic goals of the University—leveraging existing strengths with emerging disciplines, identifying synergies between college-initiated efforts and FSU-wide goals, and rewarding inter-college efforts with additional resources.
    • Strengthen the development and retention of faculty, especially at the junior level, by increasing mentorship and setting clear milestones for promotion. We’ll also expand recognition—in tenure, promotion, and merit allocation decisions—of interdisciplinary research and teaching as well as commercialization and entrepreneurship activities.
    • Provide strong professional development for faculty that encourages ongoing pedagogical innovation and mentorship of students for careers and advanced study.
    • Address staffing needs in support of faculty through both new hires and improved retention of current staff.
    • Create incentives and encouragement for faculty members to connect with the Tallahassee community in their research, pedagogy, and service and to use these experiences to increase student experiential learning and civic engagement.
  2. Enhance the quality of graduate education to achieve preeminence in strategically important areas of study and research
    • Leverage the world-class strengths of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and expand the resources of FSU’s Innovation Park. We want to attract the highest caliber researchers and graduate students, enhance the research experiences of undergraduate students, and strengthen outreach to scientists worldwide.
    • Strengthen relationships between the graduate school and professional schools and among the professional schools to encourage the development of multidisciplinary, multi-degree programs that are attractive to students.
    • Attract the best graduate and post-doctoral students through greater financial support and improvement in campus amenities and quality of life.
    • Expand and enrich FSU’s research enterprise by strengthening the research infrastructure—IT, space, support staff, equipment, and library—required to support a substantial increase in interdisciplinary research.
    • Grow and improve the volume and visibility of innovative research in engineering.
  3. Strengthen the excellence and reputation of the University’s professional schools
    • Continue to attract and retain more diverse students and faculty, building on our nationally recognized success in preparing African-American and Hispanic professionals.
    • Build our partnership with FAMU in advancing the mission of the FAMU/FSU Joint College of Engineering by together increasing faculty and students and building a stronger research portfolio, while meeting our mission to help prepare African-American and women Engineers.
    • Increase opportunities for paid internships, high impact community experiences, and research opportunities for all students.
  4. Encourage and incentivize high-impact, interdisciplinary and inter-college initiatives that address pressing societal issues
    We will build on existing FSU strengths and capabilities in such areas as successful longevity and quality of life for senior citizens, energy and materials, public policy, and security and safety.

    • Enhance the leadership and coordination of interdisciplinary programs and activities across the University.
    • Engage the FSU community in identifying broad thematic areas in which to develop new programs and interdisciplinary faculty hiring initiatives.
    • Review FSU’s current guidelines for establishing and evaluating interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and academic programs and revise as appropriate.
    • Promote interdisciplinary teaching and programs at the undergraduate level and, at the graduate level, remove barriers to the development of new interdisciplinary programs such as student financial support and the allocation of credit among programs in different colleges and departments.
  5. Expand innovative teaching strategies
    • Establish an FSU Center for Teaching and Learning to support faculty professional development and innovation in pedagogical practice. This initiative will include learning from other universities and organizations employing “best” and “emerging” practices.
    • Expand active engagement in research and scholarship for undergraduates, beginning in their first year at the University. This will include increasing faculty mentorship and providing more opportunities for collaborative work with faculty members, graduate students, and fellow undergraduates.
    • Implement online learning strategies that will enable expansion of online programs, hybrid learning, and online collaboration while increasing student retention and lifelong learning.
    • Identify digital creation, communication, and computation competencies critical for student learning and future careers.
    • Recognize and support a wide variety of strategies for learning technologies, including online courses, hybrid learning, online collaboration, technology-assisted advisement, and support for lifelong and “life-wide”1 learning.
  6. Enhance FSU’s strategy for expanding its global footprint and fostering a culturally rich learning environment on campus
    • Expand and strengthen strategic partnerships with universities and organizations abroad and domestically to provide more opportunities for education experiences outside of the United States.
    • Create faculty and staff professional development initiatives that foster international engagement, including faculty exchanges and international research collaborations.
    • Expand experiential, cross-cultural, and collaborative learning opportunities on campus and abroad to help students develop intercultural competencies and global awareness.
    • Build and sustain a globally-minded FSU community by increasing opportunities that promote interaction and understanding among students of all cultures.

  1. Life-wide learning comprises formal and informal learning outside of the linear K-16 education process and in a variety of settings and times, including home, museums and other cultural spaces, athletics, political involvement, workplaces, etc.