Florida State University appointed former FSU business professor and university administrator Dr. Susan S. Fiorito as its new founding director for the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship Tuesday.
Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation donated $100 million earlier this month to FSU to create the nation’s largest independent School of Entrepreneurship. The current entrepreneurship classes being taught in the School of Business will be expanded. In addition to obtaining a higher enrollment, there will be a new location and a mix of current and soon-to-be hired professors.
According to an FSU press release, Fiorito began teaching at FSU college of Human Sciences back in 1990.
Fiorito has taught and conducted research at the University of Iowa, University of Stirling in Scotland, and Florida International University. She expressed that she is very prepared for the transition.
“I feel that it is going to be easy for me since I’m already the chair of the Entrepreneurship Strategies and Information Systems department,“ Fioritos aid. “It’s just going to be bigger. Much, much bigger.”
Fiorito was the winner of three university awards, and was selected as one of the three inaugural Jim Moran Institute Faculty Fellows in 2010. In 2003 she was appointed to the Florida Retail Federation’s board in 2003. She also was the first female president of the American Collegiate Retailing Association.
Dennis Schnittker, director of university news and digital communications, expressed his faith in the new director and the school's future goals.
“This is not something that came out of nowhere. It’s been talked about and been planned out for a while,” Schnittker said. “Dr. Fiorito understands that, and she has all the tools she need to get us closer to where this future school will one day be.”
FSU currently offers an entrepreneurial major and minor under the School of Business. When the new school is up and running, it will open up those entrepreneurship courses to all available FSU students. The school will be looking to enroll at least 60 students when its plans to have its soft opening come Fall 2017.
Tenesha Oliver, fourth-year FAMU business student from Miami, was unaware upon the news of the future school and thinks it can impact FSU and Florida A&M University greatly.
“I think it’s honestly going to just draw more kids away from FAMU to FSU. They pretty much offer everything there that FAMU offers here, and this is only going to help their enrollment and decrease ours,” Oliver said.
Fiorito is remaining positive, and explained how everyone at FSU is happy and fully supportive of the new school and her position.
“Everybody we’ve talked to is excited,” Fiorito said. “When you have that excitement and little to no adversity, then it makes getting the school up and running that much easier.”
Fiorito further explained that she doesn’t have any current issues except for getting the “foundation” of the school accomplished. Fiorito wants students to know entrepreneurship can be applied to all professions and not to give up.
“We want all students thinking entrepreneurial … thinking of that need that hasn’t been met,” Fiorito said. “We want students to not be dissuaded by failure, but to think creatively in whatever field they go into.”
The current date for the new school to be fully established and running is 2018.