TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida State University has a new president. He spent his first day in office managing a tropical storm.
Dr. Richard McCullough was vice provost for research at Harvard University before coming to FSU. He succeeds John Thrasher. Despite FSU being limited to essential personnel only Monday, President McCullough shared it was like to start in the middle of a tropical storm.
"It’s Florida in August. That’s to be expected to have some hurricanes. I was happy it’s not a full-fledged hurricane. I hope everybody will stay safe," McCullough said.
McCullough was one chosen out of 35 applicants for the job earlier this year. He is a founder of two companies and holds multiple patents. He also helped create a diverse pipeline of Black and African American the Future Faculty Workshop, which helps diverse postdoctoral fellows and students get academic jobs.
He comes into office as the Delta Variant of COVID continues to spread locally.
Last week, 31 students and three employees tested positive for COVID-19. Of the tests that were done at FSU, there was a positivity rate of 2.27 percent. Now, President McCullough encourages the use of masks on campus.
"Right now, it’s a concern," McCullough said. "We hope that students would get vaccinated. Without testing protocols, we’ll be able to at least have a handle on what’s going on."
Florida Board of Governors and Florida State University expect masks to be worn by all individuals in all FSU facilities.