From the Dean’s Desk: What a Remarkable 2019!

The end of the fall semester and calendar year are nigh upon us, and this seems an opportune time to reflect back on what has been a remarkable year for FSU and COSSPP. I write this blog a few days before Thanksgiving, and as I think back on 2019, I have much to be thankful for. 

I am thankful to work at a university that does things the right way, investing in student success and faculty excellence. I am thankful to work alongside world-class faculty bettering the world through their research and enlightening our students in the classroom. I am thankful to be home to the hardest working, most caring, and kindest staff. I am thankful for the fountain of youth that is our ~4,700 students; I may be getting older, but every year they bring such intelligence, drive, passion, and energy to their work. In short, I am thankful to be dean of the very best college at the university and am energized by the faculty, staff, and students that call the Bellamy Building home.

The 2019 calendar has been a remarkable one for Florida State University. I suspect you may have heard a bit about Florida State University’s ascent in the US News & World Report rankings, under the visionary leadership of President John Thrasher and Provost Sally McRorie. The Top 25 was established as FSU’s target several years ago, and we far surpassed that this year with a #18 public university national ranking.

It’s important to note just how fundamental COSSPP is to FSU’s success. As the third largest college on campus (by number of students), displaying the demographic and intellectual diversity that is a signature of the FSU experience, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy is a key element of this rise up the rankings.  Over the course of the calendar year, COSSPP will graduate another 1,700+ students, producing 1 in every 6 degrees granted by FSU. Unlike many programs that cap their enrollments or limit their majors, COSSPP’s programs serve all students, and we are a key part of the parity in university graduation rates regardless of race, gender, and background. 

Within the college, 2019 brought continued excellence for our academic programs, with excellent national rankings for Public Administration, Urban & Regional Planning, and Applied Economics. Across our applied policy programs, COSSPP is a Top 25 college within the US News and World Report rankings of public affairs schools, tied with Duke University. For almost every graduate program in the college, we are “Best in Florida” and among the very best in the Southeast. 

I would be remiss not to congratulate the World Affairs Program (WAP) for a #8 National Ranking at the end of the spring 2019 season, their highest in many years. Supported by generous donations from alumni and friends, WAP is one example of our incredible Get More Than a Degree (GMTAD) initiative to support student activities and educational programming outside of the classroom. Created by my predecessor Dean Emeritus Rasmussen, GMTAD reflects so much that is great about FSU: student excellence, experiential learning, alumni giving, and world-class programming.

The 2019 calendar year also brought some key investments and upgrades that are helping to advance the college. We brought on board a dynamic Social Media Manager, LaToya Dupree-Cotton, to develop and publish content via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Our online presence is essential for telling the story of the college, engaging current students, and recruiting new ones. Please “Like” these pages to stay even better connected with COSSPP. 

I was thrilled to see the installation of a new COSSPP Donor Wall in the Bellamy Atrium and Distinguished Alumnus Wall in the dean’s suite to celebrate the remarkable alumni and friends of the college. As part of this celebration of COSSPP excellence, for the first time in our history we celebrated three COSSPP Distinguished Alumni this fall. These three individuals have had the successful careers, leadership qualities, selfless giving, and impact on the world that the college hopes to see in all its graduates.

These are but a few of the many great successes of the college over the last year. While I have the honor to be COSSPP’s face at many events, I know full well that this success is largely a function of allowing talented people to do great work. It is in this spirit that I’ll close this update with a note of tremendous thanks to Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Community Engagement Deana Rohlinger and Director of Communications Rob Nixon. This blog is Dr. Rohlinger’s inspiration, and these words are elegant only because of the skills of Director Nixon. Success is a Team Sport, and I am blessed to be carried to success because of teammates like these.

I wish you an enjoyable and love-filled Holiday Season. Go Noles!

Dr. Tim Chapin is the Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy and a professor in Urban and Regional Planning. Learn more about the College at https://coss.fsu.edu/ .

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