Funds for recruiters are slashed

The process of repairing Florida A&M University’s financial problems has resulted in cutting the funding for recruitment fairs held throughout the year to attract scholars to the university.

Associate Director of the Department of Scholarship and Recruitment William McCray said the cut by Interim President Castell V. Bryant should not affect enrollment because instead of prospective students attending recruitment fairs held at a central location, FAMU recruiters will visit schools individually.

“The decision of funding cuts regarding recruitment eliminated recruitment fairs only,” McCray said.

The funding Bryant cut was from money set aside for her to use at her discretion. That money comes from auxiliary services and is not included in the annual budget set aside for recruitment.

“The loss of funding has eliminated the recruitment fairs, which were a great way to get the word out about FAMU,” said Keeyon Upkins, 18, president of Presidential Ambassadors.

Upkins, a junior business administration from Jackson, Miss., said the recruitment fairs were a good way to dispose of the negative views that some people have about FAMU.

Recruitment fairs allowed the presidential ambassadors in cooperation with the FAMU Connections, to help represent the university in a positive manner encouraging high school scholars to attend the university.

Ja’rel Dawson, a sophomore mechanical engineering student from Tallahassee, said students should ask themselves whether they want to attend a University or not.

Dawson said he also believes it is the president and administration’s job to make the best decisions for the University.

“I feel like the cut was necessary because the university is trying to fix its financial problems right now,” said 19-year-old Dawson, a sophomore from Tallahassee.

McCray said last year’s recruitment funding was about $150,000, but funding varies from year to year.

The only difference this year is FAMU recruiters will attend as many public and private schools and community colleges as the budget will allow.

The money in the past years that went to the recruitment fairs and FAMU Connections, which performs at the fairs, is now going elsewhere. 

McCray said that he is unaware of where that money will be going now because that is Bryant’s decision.

Some students are growing frustrated with all of the negative publicity FAMU has received, and the recruitment fair cut is not making them happy.

“I just don’t understand how the administration expects the students to respect them on a professional level if we always have some financial situation in the news,” said Chris Smith, 23, a junior criminal justice student from Orlando.

McCray said students with future enrollment concerns should rest easy.

There are over 200 top schools that FAMU recruiters visit and receive scholars from, McCray said.

FAMU has generally had success over the years by visiting the individual high schools.

The recruitment team looks for students with a B average or higher and the minimum passing SAT scores.

“As an organization we’re committed to serving the University. We trust in Dr. Bryant and support her decisions,” said Presidential Ambassadors Vice President Adeleke Omitowoju.

“We see this year as a transitional period, and in conjunction with student government, slowly but surely, we’re trying to gain financial security,” said Omitowoju, a business administration student from Atlanta.

This year to compensate for the recruitment fair cut in funding, the ambassadors plan to do more phone recruitment by calling high school students, build a stronger involvement with the Student Government Association and do more community service, Upkins said. 

“Our goal is to just keep striving and look for new ways to reach out to students. And to do that, you have to work around your current circumstances,” Upkins said.

Contact Teyoshe Crenshaw at