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Our spring semester ended with a record number of social science students graduating on April 30. It was a strange feeling to know that this would be my last graduation ceremony after 13 years of service as dean. I liked being dean and look back with pride and pleasure on several advances the college made during my term: the establishment of our Experimental Social Science program, which is clearly one of the world’s finest; the new Hilton Center within the economics department, focusing on important issues related to economic prosperity and individual opportunity; the creation of degree programs in public health, African-American studies, and environmental studies. These were all highlights, but I take the most pride in what came to be known as our Get More Than a Degree initiative.

We grant diplomas for accomplishments in the classroom. Getting ready for life after college requires more than a degree, and we offer so many opportunities for students to prepare by engaging in research, international study, internships, and student organizations that develop leadership skills and professional experience. Organizations such as the World Affairs Program, Global Peace Exchange, and the National Association of Business Economics offer extraordinary advantages for our students. I am particularly proud of our Social Science Scholars program, the highly competitive capstone experience for our majors. I have been very grateful to our alumni and friends who support these extracurricular experiences since state allocations cannot be used to fund most of these activities.

On May 9, I will be returning to the faculty, developing over the next year an interdisciplinary public policy course that will be part of a new specialization within our Interdisciplinary Social Science degree program. My new office will be in the Pepper Institute, where I will also work on a research agenda focusing on policy issues related to the financial well-being of the elderly.

I will always be grateful for the rich and varied career I have had at FSU. Serving our students, faculty, staff, and alumni during my tenure as dean has been the highlight of my 48 years at the university.

With very best wishes