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Dean's Report - Spring 2012

This has been a very satisfying year for me. Almost three years ago I conferred with faculty and some alumni about starting a leadership and professional development program within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. These discussions lead to the creation of our Social Science Scholars Program. Being selected for this program is the highest honor that our College bestows on an undergraduate student.

The inaugural cohort of 18 students was chosen last fall. These students enrolled in a leadership and professional development course this spring which was lead by Professors John Mayo and Tom Taylor. Each student was awarded a scholarship of up to $5,000 to support extracurricular learning activities such as internships, service learning projects, and foreign study. Indeed, most of the students are headed abroad for these activities in China, France, Brazil, Nepal, El Salvador, England, Chile, Taiwan, Ghana, Haiti, Ireland and Peru. When they return for their senior year, the scholars will have an opportunity to meet with leaders in business, government, non-profit organizations, and academia.

Scholarships for this program are funded entirely through private support made possible by generous donations of alumni and friends to the program and to the college’s general development fund. Our goal was to create a program that would transform the educational experience of excellent students and future leaders. From the students’ response, we have succeeded.

The Social Science Scholars Program adds to the list of excellent student initiatives that are affiliated with the College and supported by alumni and friends of the College. These include our Research Intensive Bachelors Certificate in Political Science, the World Affairs Program, Global Peace Exchange, and the National Association of Business Economists.

One sobering note to share: The 2012 Florida Legislature cut $300 million from budget reserves from the State University System: FSU lost $65.8 million, more than any other institution. As a result, budget woes continue to pose a threat to the College as our best professors are very attractive targets for recruitment by rival universities. I am hopeful that we will soon see brighter days.

With best regards,