TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The governing board of Florida’s university system on Wednesday confirmed Richard McCullough, vice provost for research at Harvard University, to become the 16th president of Florida State University.
The move came about a month after the university's board of trustees unanimously selected McCullough for the job after interviewing its pool of finalists.
McCullough replaces retiring FSU President John Thrasher and takes over on Aug. 16, the university said.
McCullough has held his position at Harvard since 2012, according to his biography on the university’s website. McCullough is also a professor of materials science and engineering at Harvard. He has a PhD in engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
McCullough previously served as vice president for research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is also co-founder and chairman of Liquid X, a company that produces particle-free ink formulas.
“Over the past few weeks, I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people at FSU and have continued to learn why it is such a special place," McCullough said in a statement. "FSU has tremendous potential for even greater success, and I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and alumni to lead it into the future.”
Located in Florida's capital city of Tallahassee, Florida State is one of the country's largest universities with an enrollment of about 44,000 students. Already known nationally for its sports programs, the school has been working to improve its academic stature.
In its announcement, Florida State called McCullough “a staunch champion of diversity,” noting that he was among the founders of a workshop meant to open opportunities for educators of color.
“Rick McCullough is a visionary leader who possesses the experience and acumen needed to build upon Florida State University’s academic excellence and continue our trajectory as one of the nation’s preeminent universities,” said Ed Burr, chair of the FSU Board of Trustees.