FSU President McCullough: University hopes to invest $1B in construction, $500M in research

Author: TaMaryn Waters, Tallahassee Democrat

AMELIA ISLAND — Through research and development, Florida State University President Richard McCullough said the school is poised to seize its place among top rankings in the country and put more students on track to be entrepreneurs.

As Saturday’s keynote speaker at the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Conference, he shared his plans to elevate the school’s impact. The university spends $350 million on research expenses that he hopes to increase to $500 million.

Several investments, including the hiring of 155 new faculty members, tenure-track professors and a new vice president of research, will help push the university’s mission.

“These universities FAMU, TCC, FSU, you’re attracting young people and talent to the region,” McCullough told the business leaders gathered. “We would like you to stay in Tallahassee, in the Big Bend region and Florida as employers, as starting new companies, and create more jobs in the region. It all starts with research, where discovery leads to tangible, tangible benefits for society.”

In addition, he touched on the university’s economic impact and plans. In the next three years, McCullough said FSU is going to do $1 billion in construction. 

Some of those capital projects include an interdisciplinary research, a new business school, a football only facility, stadium renovations and a new academic medical center. 

“We need to let other people outside of Tallahassee know that this is a booming industry,” McCullough said. “We can’t find people to do, especially in the sub-contracting area, all the work that we’re going to need to do, and we’re not done. We’re not even close to done.”

The day’s events were capped off with a discussion about innovations taking place in Tallahassee, particularly how to help the city’s startup ecosystem and an effort to see the city cement and further promote its title as the Magnetic Capital of the World.

MagCorp director Jeff Whalen, a panelist at the conference, said FSU’s High Magnetic Field Laboratory, commonly referred to as the MagLab, will likely play a critical role electric cars.

“There are so many magnets integrated into not only the motors of these vehicles, but a lot of the other components, including sensors,” Whalen said.