Vice President for Research Search

July 19, 2022

Stacey Patterson named Vice President for Research

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased today to announce the appointment of Dr. Stacey Patterson as the next Vice President for Research at Florida State University.

Dr. Patterson, a microbiologist, has served as the Vice President for Research, Outreach and Economic Development in the University of Tennessee system and as President of the UT Research Foundation since 2017.

Her stellar track record in research, economic development and leadership makes her an outstanding choice to lead FSU’s research enterprise. Her expertise in building broad research coalitions with both public and private partners as well as her experience in moving university research out of the lab and into the marketplace will help FSU grow its research and creative endeavors as we move forward.

As a first-generation college graduate from West Virginia, Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree from UT Knoxville in biological sciences, followed by a master’s degree in environmental health science from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate in microbiology from UT Knoxville.

She then spent three years in a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Florida. She has secured funding from NOAA, the Army, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and several private sector partners as a principal investigator and has been a contributor on several U.S. patents in the area of sensor development and cancer imaging. Patterson is also one of four co-founders of 490 Biotech, a Knoxville-based startup company.

In her work for the UT system, she had broad responsibilities in the areas of the management and operating contract for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), research compliance and reporting, research security, state and federal advocacy, technology transfer, commercialization, entrepreneurship, and economic development partnerships. Patterson has led several statewide initiatives including securing a $24 million NSF grant for research infrastructure, leading a $62.5 million Volunteer State Solar Initiative, and securing a $38 million U.S. Department of Energy award to help launch the new UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute.

I’d like to thank Mark Riley and Laurel Fulkerson for serving as interim vice presidents for research over the past two years. We are grateful for their service and dedication to Florida State University.

I’d also like to thank Provost Jim Clark, the search committee and SP&A Executive Search for their hard work in identifying, interviewing and bringing our finalists to campus. We had three incredible individuals visit our great campus, but it was clear to all of us that Dr. Patterson was the perfect fit for FSU.

Dr. Patterson will join us on October 15 but will be making several visits to campus before her start date. I know all of you will join me in giving her a warm welcome to Florida State University.


Richard McCullough
FSU President

March 23, 2022

Mark Riley to Serve as Interim Vice President for Research

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I am pleased to announce that Mark Riley, dean of the Graduate School, has agreed to serve as Interim Vice President for Research.

Mark will take over duties from outgoing Interim Vice President for Research Laurel Fulkerson, who is retiring on April 1. Laurel has served in the role since January 2021, following a distinguished career as a professor of classics and administrator.

Mark also will continue in his current role as dean of the FSU Graduate School while Florida State conducts a national search for the university’s next Vice President for Research.

Since joining FSU as an assistant professor of physics in 1990, Mark has served as department chair and received the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honor the university faculty bestows on one of its own. He was appointed dean of the Graduate School in May 2018 after serving as interim dean beginning in August 2017.

Prior to joining Florida State, Mark worked as a research associate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also served as an advanced fellow at the University of Liverpool. He holds a Bachelor of Science in physics and a doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Liverpool in England.

I’d like to extend my appreciation to Mark for taking on these additional responsibilities, and I wish Laurel all the best in her retirement.

Please visit for updates on the university’s national search for its next Vice President for Research.


Richard McCullough
FSU President

November 10, 2021

Vice President for Research Search Information

Dear Campus Community,

As I announced last month, Interim Vice President for Research Laurel Fulkerson is planning to retire in Spring 2022 after a distinguished career as a professor and an administrator. I'm incredibly thankful for Laurel's assistance during my first few months as president, introducing me to the research operation at Florida State and the wonderful faculty and staff who contribute to it.

I see so much potential to build upon an already strong foundation and take FSU research to the next level. As such, we will be launching an international search to recruit the next Vice President for Research.

I'm pleased that James Clark, dean of the College of Social Work, has agreed to chair the search committee, and I'm grateful to all who have agreed to serve on it. We have retained the executive search firm SP&A (formerly Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates) to assist with our efforts.

The Search Committee will communicate its timeline and plan very soon. We intend to have a candidate in place by the time Dr. Fulkerson retires in April so that we can ensure a smooth transition.

This is a significant and exciting decision for the future of Florida State University. I strongly encourage you to contribute your thoughts on the desired qualities of our next Vice President for Research. The Committee will invite your input about the qualities and role of the VPR and will invite you to future campus forums as candidates are invited to campus.

Thank you for all you do for Florida State University. I can't tell you how excited I am about the future of this great university and all that we can accomplish together.


Richard McCullough
FSU President