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Florida Tech President Dr. John Nicklow Unveils the University's new Strategic Plan

Dominic Agostini

One of the best things about your university is the insightful research conducted by our faculty, often with our students working and learning right alongside them. A great example of Florida Tech’s ongoing investment in research designed to help us better understand and navigate our world can be seen at the Mertens Marine Center. This important facility provides vital lab and learning space for exploring the Indian River Lagoon and beyond, serving up to 140 undergraduate and 50 graduate students in ocean engineering, oceanography, environmental science, marine biology and sustainability.

University-wide, our total research expenditures two years ago were $14.9 million, and last year, rose to $15.7 million. We’ve had some growth, but there is incredible potential to do better when we realize some of our peers are doing anywhere from $52 million to $180 million per year.

Our new strategic plan, "Forward Together, Boundless Potential," includes research as an integral element. As we prioritize "Programs Driven by Innovation," we will expand and diversify externally funded research to become a strong R2 research institution providing all students an opportunity to conduct impactful and innovative research, and this will further position Florida Tech for R1 consideration by 2040.

Once our new Provost is on the ground in May, one of my priorities is to build out our Office of Sponsored Research. My goal is to provide faculty with greater support in identifying research opportunities and in preparing proposals and budgets. This is fundamental to our plan to grow our grant and contract expenditures.

There’s much work to be done—and we will get it done, together. Thanks as always for your partnership and teamwork as we advance the mission of this incredible institution in service to our students.

Wes joined Florida Institute of Technology in 2009 and currently serves as Vice President for External Affairs working in the Office of the President. In addition to serving as university spokesperson, he manages crisis communications response and supervises WFIT-FM, the region’s National Public Radio affiliate.