Thursday, January 20, 2011

Florida State Geology Program Reinstated

Some time back I wrote a couple of depressing posts describing the ongoing budget cuts at Florida State University and the likelihood of the geology department - along with some other majors -  losing its bachelors degree program and some of its faculty.

The bachelors program was eventually suspended but some of the let off faculty fought back and went to arbitration. The judge ruled in their favor. Here is the 83 page opinion of the judge. The bachelor's program is back and a major shake up of the geosciences at Florida State is in motion.

One of the faculty,  Dr. Leroy Odom emailed me this morning with an update which I am posting below with his permission:

Greetings Suvrat,

Stephen Kish put me on to your blog, and I find it interesting.  Good job.  I see that there was announcement of how the provost tried to cut the department and suspend the B.S. degree in Geology (graduate degrees were never suspended).  In the last few months a few important things have happened.  In order they are:

FSU has a new president (ironically a former graduate of our department - BS in Geology FSU, 1973 and PhD Oceanography , U Miami) - Eric Barron former Dean , College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University; Dean, Jackson School of Geoscience, U. Texas; Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research.

We were placed at the top of the building list  for a large new Geoscience building to house geology Oceanography, meteorology,  an office of the National Weather Center, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, and possibly the Florida Geologic Survey.  An architect will be selected in the coming months with construction scheduled during 2012.

Those faculty members in Geology and Oceanography who the Provost tried to get rid of will remain. Some went to arbitration where a judge ruled that the firings were arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. Barron saw to it that all laid-off faculty were rehired.

The Provost  "resigned".

The suspension of the BS degree in Geology was  lifted and we are now accepting majors.

In many ways we came out of this much better off than before. The new department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences retains all of its programs in the original  three geosciences, each having considerable autonomy.  We are now the size of the largest departments in the college and are the best funded.  We think the future for geosciences at FSU looks bright.



Feeling mighty good about all this!


  1. Such great news! We at Deep Sea News were concerned a well: I know several faculty in Oceanography. I hope their jobs are still there!

  2. thanks for stopping by Kevin.. yeah.. oceanography faculty got their jobs back as well... for faculty of course and all of us alumni and students.. great news!

  3. Very glad to hear this news!