Michael Shatruk

FSU Helping Ukrainian Academics

Michael Shatruk
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Dear President McCullough,

These days, the nation of Ukraine is facing unprecedented hardship due to the dramatic events unfolding in that country. We recognize that the impending humanitarian crisis caused by the displacement of millions of Ukrainian citizens will also have a dramatic adverse effect on Ukrainian academics, many of whom have been forced to leave not only their institutions but also their homes. In this situation, we feel that Florida State University has an opportunity to join the worldwide humanitarian effort to help those in need. Such action will be in line with our values as an institution that stands for equality, diversity, and integrity of education and academic research.

With this letter, we propose that a centralized FSU task force be convened to establish a common Florida State University response to extend a helping hand to Ukrainian academics. Herein, we suggest some possible components of that response:

- Offer graduate-program admission to qualified Ukrainian students. We should explore whether it is possible to implement some fast-track measures such as the waiver of the GRE and TOEFL examinations, which, perhaps, could be replaced with a direct video interview of the applicants. There might be other options to consider in our effort to help these students to continue their education. We are confident that these students would enrich our graduate programs and the entire FSU community.

- Offer 1-2 year visiting postdoc or visiting scholar appointments to post-graduate Ukrainian scholars and professors. This measure might require the development of a centralized stipend fund and/or identification of other funding pathways to support these scholars.

- Assign a student or faculty mentor to each student or scholar who arrives on our campus. This assignment would likely best be made at the departmental level to ensure both personal and professional connections.

- Develop an appropriate messaging strategy to reach a broad range of Ukrainian students and scholars. This could be achieved by using the outreach and public relation offices already in place at FSU. These efforts could also benefit from information about or partnership with efforts launched by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and other academic organizations.

We sincerely hope that the FSU community can come together in a common effort to develop a viable and active plan for assisting members of Ukrainian academic community during these challenging times.


FSU Faculty Members

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