© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tulane's Piedimonte To Greet FSU Faculty, Staff And Students In Presidential Search

arial photo looking down street toward FSU
Erich Martin
Used with permission
Tulane's Piedimonte To Greet FSU Faculty, Staff And Students In Presidential Search

Florida State University is looking for a president who can help it break into the Top 10. The school this week is interviewing three contenders from schools that all rank higher than it does. Tulane University’s Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte is slated to meet with FSU faculty, staff and students at the Turnbull center Thursday.

Piedimonte is the only medical doctor in the group. He’s a pediatrician and most of his research has been funded by the National Institutes for Health--an area where FSU wants to grow its funding. Most of the school’s current research budget comes through grants from the National Science Foundation—the other independent federal grant-funding research agency. FSU needs to get its NSF funding up, and Piedimonte says within the next five years, there will be a LOT of opportunities to do that.

“There is a massive amount of money that’s going to be invested in research, for a reason this country has never experienced before… All the projections suggest China is going to catch up...so in order for the United States to maintain its dominance in research and development, its going to have to put its foot on the gas," he told the FSU Presidential Search Committee.

Piedimonte says he suspects the federal government will boost the budgets for grants and create even more new research funding sources. FSU, he says, has the potential to capitalize on those emerging opportunities by developing more research, increasing grant applications in partnership with other organizations and people, and focusing its efforts on certain areas.

“Let me tell you where the money is going to go," he said. "Medicine, healthcare, healthcare inequality, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and hybrid clouds. It’s all at the intersection of medicine and biomedical sciences and engineering and advanced computers and so forth.”

Focusing on those areas, Piedimonte says, can help FSU break into the Top 10 list of best colleges and schools. He believes its a jump that could happen within the next five years. But to join the elite Association of American Universities, it’s going to take a bit more.

“The game becomes much harder. You’re in the ring with a bunch of Cassius Clays. You have only superways [sp?] there, with infrastructure in the billions, with incredible traditions… so you have to play their game.”

To be a player, Piedimonte said, will take what he calls a “culture of relentless improvement built around excellence.”

To hear more from the candidate, go to presidentialsearch.fsu.edu

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories here.