Florida State University’s next president announced

Richard McCullough has been chosen to be the next FSU president.
Richard McCullough has been chosen to be the next FSU president.(Florida State University)
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 4:34 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Florida State University Board of Trustees has chosen Richard McCullough to serve as the university’s next president.

McCullough is the vice provost for research at Harvard University. He will succeed John Thrasher, who will retire later this summer. Thrasher has served as president of the university since 2014.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead Florida State University as its next president,” McCullough said. “Public universities are amazing engines of social change and mobility, and FSU is leading the way in that effort. The foundation is set for FSU to take its next jump up, and I’m excited to be a part of the team that will take it to the next level.”

McCullough will be the 16th president of the university.

“This is a pivotal time in the history of Florida State University, and I’m confident that Rick McCullough is the person to lead it into the future,” Ed Burr, chair of the FSU Board of Trustees, said. “The board believes Dr. McCullough will be an exceptional fit with FSU’s culture of excellence and student success. He is an experienced academic, tested administrator and innovator who possesses a vision that will be vital in continuing our tremendous climb in the national rankings as a preeminent university.”

McCullough was the first of his family to go to college. From Texas, he attended Eastfield Community College before earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1982. He went on to earn his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1988. McCullough also spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York.

Before coming to FSU, McCullough spent 22 years at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He was promoted to Head of Chemistry in 1998 and then served as dean of the Mellon College of Science from 2001-2007 before becoming the university’s Vice President for Research.

At Harvard, McCullough launched the new Harvard Data Science Initiative, a collaboration between 12 of the university’s schools and more than 120 faculty, which has led to three new master’s programs and the creation of many new undergraduate courses. He also developed and launched a new Structural Biology Program and cryo-electron microscope facility that partners Harvard Medical School with three Boston-area hospitals.

The Florida Board of Governors must approve the appointment. The board’s next meeting is June 23rd.

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