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Professor vs FSU

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As the article in the newspaper stated, Professor Robert Holton, has made one of the most impressive contributions to Florida State Univeristy, earning the school over $350 dollars for his work on the Taxol cancer drug. Now the school is in the process of building a new Chemistry building, which the professor would like to leave his mark on. He's even doanted over $6 million dollars to the construction of the facility, which the University now wants to give back, saying the Professor is too controlling.

I'm not in-the-loop on this issue. I saw an article on this subject eariler this summer, and I've seen the professor in the "Ideas that move" commercial that FSU likes to air during football games. All I know is there are buildings all over this campus dedicated to various politicians, doners, and former athletes, why not a professor? T.K. has his name plastered all over University Center, there's Bobby Bowden Field, Dick Howser Stadium, Claude Pepper Research Institution, DeVoe Moore even has a section of the Bellamy Building.

I'm not all for kissing butt to get what I deserve, and I odn't believe this professor should have to. From what I hear, he may not be the most cordial person, but who cares when he has the brains that he does. Seeing has how he's given our school so much prestige, I see it suitable for him to seek to have a Chemistry building erected in his vision.

My opinion. Share yours.

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TaureanJ,

I rarely side with TK, but he and the admin are basically right on this. The original donation was a $5 Million one that was for a generic Chem building. Another $6 Million ($11 total not counting state match) was made with a ton of demands attached to it.....some were even rumored to be a VERY costly underground parking garage. After the demands, the building totaled over $85 MILLION DOLLARS. The donation was $11 Million. FSU would of possibly been OK with that, but the demands basically rendered the building only beneficial to a small group within the Chemistry dept., leaving the rest of the dept out in the cold. FSU did not want to spend $77 MILLION on a building that did not benefit the whole dept.

I would of liked to see both sides come to a resolution...both sides have some wrong....but on this one, Dr. Holton was too demanding.

At the end of the day, the building is still going up and the CHem. dept will get better facilities. It is a shame Dr. Holton would not help bring the whole dept up instead of just his specific area.

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Thanks for helping to shine some light on that for me. The Tallahassee Democrat didnt' tell the entire story today, at least not in a way I understood. It was as if some injustice had been done to the Professor and he was being thrown under the bus because he wanted some recognition. But nothing is ever that one sided. It makes perfect since that the university would turn down the $6 Million seeing how it carries with it so much added expense.

Like you, I would love to see some type of compromise reached here. Such a great scientist deserves some type of recognition, but to be a great person, one must also look out for his entire organization, not just a select few.

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at the same time i want the money for the school, but i dont want Holton to have too much power over the university. no one should give a gift that is not a gift. If you wish to donate, leave out the clauses...

But T.K. could do more for it certainly.

I hear ya CS, but I say no one gives, or donates without wanting something in return. In this case a professor wanted to call some shots for a department he helped to define at Florida State University. Like Poonther, I think any university would love to have a guy on faculty who invented a cancer drug and started a spin-off company, Taxolog.

I think this should never have made the news, but like the ADAR situation, the school likes to make a big fuss of things. I stood up against FSU then because the school was wrong. In this situation both sides are wrong... but I'd never have given any money back without doing everything I can to meet the professor halfway... EVERYTHING.

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You guys know what side of this I'm on based on my previous post in the pix of the day thread.

My biggest beef is that T.K. is not even letting this go to professional mediation. The article in the Tally Democrat states that professional mediation was to begin sometime soon, but T.K. just decided to give back the money now and not bother w/that. That is egotistical and ignorant to me. I think from what I read that Holton doesn't even want the money back right now, but wants to wait for mediation. What's the rush for T.K.? Again don't forget this guy has made the university millions in royalities already, so he deserves the right to be difficult IMO. Surely they could try and come to some type of compromise, but that's not T.K. He's a fat cat politican that likes to squawk about everything. That's his way of doing business. He's done that several times to the city of Tally and he's doing it again this time w/this situation.

If you don't think that people that give big gifts to universities don't demand certain criteria w/their gifts, you are fooling yourself. Now I'm sure Prof. Holton is demanding way more, but still all gifts I think come w/certain demands.

Holton IS the Bobby Bowden of chemistry and we all know that T.K. let's Saint Bobby run around carte blanche. Even with all the odd and sometimes criminal stuff that's been happening lately w/the football team...and his son on the coaching staff. Rules had to be changed for that bad move.

Also don't forget that Holton has put a Taxol office here in Tally off North Monroe near the Fringe Benefits Bldg. It doesn't employ that many people, but it is a nice R & D type of thing to have in town and who knows what other businesses might spring up IF Holton finds new drugs for cancer. So I think Tally's economic development also has a tiny stake in this game of egos.

T.K. says he wants to build FSU into a powerful academic university. Well I say finding a compromise in this situation that benefits all would be one big step towards that goal.

Here's a brief paragraph from a long St. Pete Times article:

"Taxol has generated $351-million for Holton and FSU. That's three times more than the University of Florida earned from Gatorade. It was enough to convince Wetherell's predecessor, former FSU president Talbot D'Alemberte, to give Holton whatever he wanted."

Here's the complete article

Gosh I miss Sandy!

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i am a biochem major (sr) at FSU and totally agree with holton in this situation. my concentration in chemistry is organic synthesis, so granted i am biased, but i think that in the long run, this would really benefit FSU. if the building is built like holton wants, we would get many of the "really smart" organic (and chemistry in general) professors in the country, and would start developing drugs like taxol (not as big a deal as taxol was, but similar) a lot more often. this would in turn make the university a lot of money. i also believe that it would make FSU one of, if not the best organic chemistry school in the southeast.

this summer i went to purdue to do organic research on cancer drugs, and the facilities there are similar to what the building holton is proposing for FSU to build. purdue is known as one of the best organic chemistry schools in the nation. the school attracts some of the brightest minds in the nation, who in turn produce major results in the medical field (ie new drugs) each year (which makes purdue major money).

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i am a biochem major (sr) at FSU and totally agree with holton in this situation. my concentration in chemistry is organic synthesis, so granted i am biased, but i think that in the long run, this would really benefit FSU. if the building is built like holton wants, we would get many of the "really smart" organic (and chemistry in general) professors in the country, and would start developing drugs like taxol (not as big a deal as taxol was, but similar) a lot more often. this would in turn make the university a lot of money. i also believe that it would make FSU one of, if not the best organic chemistry school in the southeast.

this summer i went to purdue to do organic research on cancer drugs, and the facilities there are similar to what the building holton is proposing for FSU to build. purdue is known as one of the best organic chemistry schools in the nation. the school attracts some of the brightest minds in the nation, who in turn produce major results in the medical field (ie new drugs) each year (which makes purdue major money).

This turns my stomach... the fact that T.K. has allowed ego to potentially ruin our chances to lure greater minds to the community. Since when is T.K. a chemistry expert. I'd take directions on building a Chemistry school from a Chemist long before I would a university president with a football background. I think FSU really messed this one up. LaneyJ, thanks for opening my mind to something I hadn't thought about.

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Fantastic points there laneyj34. Good to hear the subject discussed by people in the field. I just think T.K. threw in the towel too early on this one. I wish he would let it go to mediation and let's try and work something out. If not, then at least ALL avenues were tried.

I understand that a chemistry bldg. will still be built, but it will be just a chemistry bldg. like 200 other universities have. What Holton wants would set FSU apart from other schools and give us prestige in this specific field, mainly cancer research. This in turn would help the economic engine of Tally by bringing in outsiders to study and work here much like the Mag. Lab does. Then if new cancer drugs were found, that might help spin off some local R&D businesses that want to stay in Tally to be close to Holton's lab. By following this route, FSU would be become a better academic institution like T.K. says he wants FSU to be.

FSU for a long time was the step-child to UF. It was considered a "girls school" and b/c we had no law school and the likes, we had no representation in the FL legislature. Therefore, we never got funding. Now we have lots of people and alumni on our side in the State legislature and we are getting funding we deserve. But we cannot rest on our laurels now b/c all the "commuter schools" are hungry and growing. Already UCF and USF have more students than FSU. Many of these are commuters and part-timers, but they are bigger and more and more reps in State Gov are alumni of these schools. FAU is teaming up w/Scripps, FIU has a new law school and demands a medical school. UCF wants a medical school too. They all want to be bigger and better than FSU and we had better watch out. Doing stuff like what Holton wants (a modified version if possible) will help assure our place at the top and set us apart. If we follow the T.K. plan we'll just be the same as everyone else. Well maybe not the same, FSU could boast that we have 42 identical parking garages flanking the perimeters of the university. Now that's something to be proud of right?

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T.K. is your president :cry::rofl: TCC had him and we dumped him onto FSU. On a serious tip, with all the man has done for the university I don't think it's unreasonable for him to have his own Chemistry building. This could put FSU's chem program on the map.

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T.K. is your president :cry::rofl: TCC had him and we dumped him onto FSU. On a serious tip, with all the man has done for the university I don't think it's unreasonable for him to have his own Chemistry building. This could put FSU's chem program on the map.

TCC didn't dump nobody! The man left. T.K. has done some good for the university, but in the past year he hasn't been as creative in working out differences.

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ebony, fsu already has a relatively good chem dept, and their organic dept is quite exceptional for a state school (it is better than uf's), but this facility would make the dept take off...

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It's back!

Chemistry Bldg.

Well I didn't think they were going to mediation. I am glad they did even if it didn't work, at least they tried. Looks like the only way this one is going to be resolved is in the courts. That's sad. I only hope something can be worked out that will be good for both parties and thus bringing good things to citizens of the area. The longer this battle of egos goes on, the worse it is for all of us.

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Holton to FSU: I want my money

Chemist's attorneys file motion asking for $31.5 million

By Diane Hirth

DEMOCRAT SENIOR WRITER

Attorneys for chemist Robert Holton, whose research made Taxol available to cancer patients and whose royalties made millions of dollars for himself and Florida State University, have filed a motion asking for $31.5 million from the university.

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I'm not even gonna take sides on this one, all I want to say is that this has got to STOP. It's unhealthy and embarassing. These two sides need to come to an out of court compromise and stop this once and for all.

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