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Dean's Report - Summer 2015

Dear Friends

Well, the summer semester is winding down and before we know it, thousands of students will be filling the campus again. As we head into another successful academic year, I think the time is ripe—now more than ever—for some good news about FSU and the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.

You’re no doubt aware of the stories flooding the media, in the past year and over the last few weeks, about a few individuals on our football team. To be sure, the problem is real and cannot and should not be dismissed as mere negative media hype. But it has proven to be a distraction from the real work we do here and clouded public perception of what this university truly is.

In response to that, a social media campaign exploded on the web this week that we wholeheartedly support: #somuchmorethanfootball. The Twitter hashtag was created to rally students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters to tell their positive stories about the university and all it has done for them. I have a few I’d like to share with you.

We have a lot to be proud of here at the college. Our academic programs consistently rank #1 in the state and in the top 40 nationally. Our students make up 12% of the student body but account for about 30% of national fellowship winners. This year, all three of the Boren Undergraduate Scholarships went to students in the college. Sociology/psychology major Daniel Hubbard is among this year's 58 Truman Scholars, chosen from a field of nearly 700 candidates nationally, and the only one from Florida. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the many COSSPP students who have received national and university-wide honors.

Our award-winning faculty continues to be at the forefront of cutting-edge research to address the most pressing problems facing today’s world: climate, sustainability, urban growth, disaster relief and emergency management, public health, economic policy, and much more. They are frequently called upon by regional, national, and international media as experts in their fields. You’ll read all about the achievements of faculty and students in the upcoming issue of our annual magazine Engage, due out in early October.

We’re also proud to note that graduates of the college—all of you—are active and successful in all professions, making notable contributions in government, business, and the nonprofit sector. We count among our alumni governors and legislators; state Supreme Court justices; professors and university presidents; directors of local, national, and international organizations; business leaders and entrepreneurs; authors and publishers; policy makers and analysts; military officers; city planners and developers. Six of our recent grads have been recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the Alumni Association’s 30 Under 30 Award for 2015. This just scratches the surface.

The simple point is this: Florida State University, and particularly the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, produces leaders, people who carry with them the high values we seek to instill in every student, not just in the classroom but in the many extracurricular activities and opportunities we offer.
I’d like to call on all of you to join us in this campaign. Get on Twitter or Facebook and post stories about your positive experiences at FSU. Our Twitter name is @FSU_COSS and our Facebook page is

I urge you to follow all of the good news about the college on social media and our web site, in the pages of Engage, and through your personal visits and contacts. And thank you for being shining examples of how FSU is #somuchmorethanfootball.

All the best,
David W. Rasmussen, Dean