Lewis dispels student rumors, summer sessions to offer courses

Despite ongoing rumors, Interim President Lewis said all three summer sessions will continue as planned and students will even play a role in deciding which courses will be offered.

Lewis addressed allegations that the university would not have summer sessions at the first meeting of the board of trustees this semester and the President’s Faculty Meeting.

Although Lewis admitted that he did not know when or why the rumors began, he said he has heard, “enough times to be concerned.”

“I want to put a rest to these rumors. There will be a strong, viable summer session,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the summer 2001 roster will serve as a base for course offerings but the deans of the colleges and schools will distribute surveys to students asking which courses would they prefer to be offered this summer. The final decisions on course selection will be made by the end of February.

“I think Lewis’ plan is great,” said Chris Rountree, 20, a sophomore political science student from Philadelphia. “Only students know what they need. If students can list what classes they want, everyone can be accommodated. The administration should have done this a long time ago.”

In addition, students may also suggest which courses they are interested in for a minor. At the President’s Faculty Meeting, Lewis said he would be working with other officials to arrange a way students can earn a minor during the summer.

“It makes a student more marketable to have a major in one subject and a minor in another,” Lewis said.

However, courses that do not have the minimum amount of students required will not be offered during the summer sessions. Fifteen students are required for the university to add a lower level course; 12 for an upper level course and nine students for a graduate course.

“We can’t offer classes with less than the required number of students because its not cost effective.”

Lewis said the College of Arts and Sciences will have a wider course selection offered than the other colleges and schools because it provides service courses for the university student body, in contrast to the professional colleges and schools whose courses are more “defined.”

Increasing the number of full-time student population during summer school was one goal Lewis said he had in order for the university to receive more funds.

“There is a direct correlation between the number of students enrolled and university funding. Our funding is based on all three semesters: fall, spring and summer,” Lewis said.

Eddie Jackson, the vice president of university relations, said 5,867 students enrolled in summer school 2001, an increase of 500 students from summer 2000.

“This year, we’re looking for at least a 10 percent increase (in summer enrollment),” Jackson said.

Students can also save time, as well as money, attending classes this summer.

The Florida Legislature is proposing a tuition increase for

Fall 2002. The proposal calls for a 5 percent increase for undergraduates and 10 percent increase for graduate students. Although, the proposal has yet to be voted on, Lewis said there will be a tuition for students beginning in the fall.

Students can also expect to find themselves in classes with recent high school graduates. Lewis said first-time-in-college students will be able to start college early, enrolling in summer session “B.”

“They’ve already been accepted to the university. By enrolling in session “B,” it relieves the stress on freshman courses that tend to close early in the fall,” Lewis said.

All campus dorms and apartments will be open for summer students and Lewis said housing arrangements will not conflict with the number of high school and incoming college students who participate in summer programs, including TOPS and band camp.

Commencement ceremonies for all summer sessions will be held Aug. 2.