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FSU Employees Express Concerns Over COVID-19, Salary To College President

FSU President Richard McCollough wears a mask as he stands at a podium with a microphone on top of it.
WFSU Public Media
Florida State University faculty and staff are telling college president Richard McCullough they’re concerned about COVID-19 safety precautions, and employee salaries.

The pandemic and pay were top issues brought up at a town hall with Florida State University's new president Richard McCullough. He fielded questions during the event.

Markus Huettel is an oceanography and environmental science professor at FSU. Huettel says he's heard stories about students refusing to wear masks even when asked.

"We have large enrollment classes, so 200 students come into our lecture rooms, and we have assistant professors, young faculty members with children that cannot be vaccinated that teach these classes," Huettel says.

He urged McCullough to issue a student vaccination requirement. But McCullough says state rules bar the campus from forcing vaccinations.

"Unfortunately, we are not in a position to mandate vaccinations," McCullough says.

The issue of faculty pay also came up. McCullough acknowledges the university needs to remain competitive in hiring and retaining people.

"I'm not talking about raising everyone up in the faculty with a big giant raise. I'm talking about giving people raises that bring them up but also rewarding those who are those consummate professors who are doing everything," McCullough says.

McCullough says professors who are doing an excellent job teaching, mentoring, and researching deserve a reward. During a second FSU town hall, McCullough clarified that he would also work on improving salaries for staff and graduate assistants. McCullough says changes to how people are paid will take time.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.