FSU College of Education dean leaves lasting legacy

One of Driscoll’s priorities as dean has been to create a strong network of alumni and friends of the college.

Marcy Driscoll has dedicated nearly 40 years of service and scholarship to Florida State University. The longtime FSU educator and administrator will retire as dean of the College of Education on June 30.

Known for her strong leadership and forward-thinking philosophy, she has led the College of Education for 13 years and is one of the longest-serving deans currently on FSU’s campus.

The college celebrated Driscoll’s career during a reception June 5 at the FSU Heritage Museum. President John Thrasher and Provost Sally McRorie were among the speakers.

“To say Marcy has had an incredible impact on our students would be an understatement,” Thrasher said. “She has the kind of knowledge and experience you just can’t replace. She is a skilled administrator, a talented fundraiser and a strong advocate for the profession of teaching.”

Driscoll started her career at Florida State University’s College of Education as an assistant professor in instructional systems and educational psychology.

“A friend who graduated from Florida State called me up and said, ‘FSU has a job opening,’” said Driscoll. “’They don’t know it yet, but they are looking for you. You must apply for this position.’ I did, and as they say, the rest is history.”

At the time of her hire in 1980, she was the only female faculty member in the Department of Educational Research. She established herself as a presence in the department and eventually became the department chair in 1996. Seven years later, Driscoll became associate dean for administration and research, and in 2005, began her role as dean.

One of Driscoll’s priorities as dean has been to create a strong network of alumni and friends of the college. Under her leadership, the college has raised more than $32 million in gifts and commitments, allowing it to grant more scholarships than any other college of education in the state of Florida.

In connecting with alumni, Driscoll has established a number of important relationships, including one with Marvalene Hughes, who graduated from the college with her doctoral degree in 1969. Hughes generously supports the College of Education’s annual research symposium, which fosters collaboration among graduate students and faculty within the college and the university.


    • Named the 2018 recipient of the Russell P. Kropp Award by the Florida Educational Research Association, which recognizes a policymaker or administrator engaged in education in Florida who has demonstrated in an exemplary fashion the use of educational research or evaluation in educational decision-making.
    • Past president of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (2001-2002) and the Council of Academic Deans of Research Education Institutions (2015-2018).
    • Authored or co-authored six textbooks in learning and instruction, including “Psychology of Learning for Instruction,” which won the 1995 Outstanding Book Award in Instructional Development.

Driscoll also acknowledges her important place in history as the first female dean of the College of Education. One of her objectives as dean has been to serve as a mentor, especially to women.

“There’s a lot of creativity in developing talent among faculty and students and finding the resources that faculty need to be successful — to help them achieve the goals to be the best they can be,” said Driscoll. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing people do those things and getting them the resources they need to do it.”

A strong advocate for women in academia, Driscoll established the Robert E. and Marcy P. Driscoll Endowment for Women in Crisis fund, which supports women in need and enables them to overcome unexpected barriers to complete their degrees.

“My history with Florida State has given me a lot,” said Driscoll. “I am happy that I can give back to support its future.”