Two weeks after the Board of Trustees approved President James Ammons’ restructuring plans to cut 24 programs and trim the university’s budget, students are still confused and concerned about the fate of the university.
A meeting between university officials and students to help clarify the changes to come was held at BL Perry room 200 on Tuesday.
A sea of hands was raised after Ammons and Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris spoke. Each student seemed anxious to learn more about the effect of the program cuts.
“We took the time to look at the academic plans and the academic community,” Ammons said in the packed room. “This review led to recommendations that will attract students that can become millennial FAMUans.”
Ammons explained at the BOT meeting of what he meant by creating a new era Florida A&M.
“What Florida A&M University will look like years from now will be the result of the hard work of faculty, staff, students and campus leaders who developed a bold, brilliant and progressive course for FAMU for this decade and years to come,” said Ammons.
However, as organized as Ammons may be with his plans, students seemed a bit skeptical.
Jason Allen, a third-year electronic engineering and technology student is concerned about how the restructuring is being done.
“Unlike the construction engineering department, we don’t have much in common with the school of architecture,” Allen said. “Therefore on our degree, it doesn’t help us to say that we graduated from the college of architecture with a degree in electronic engineering.”
Ammons explained to students that the masters in arts and technology are being suspended until the undergraduate program gains momentum. He also said that programs that were listed as being critical to the future, such as education, health, stem program, science technology and engineering and mathematics were designated as high need and were kept.
“Over the next four years, each step of implementation will lead to these goals being achieved,” Ammons said. “These goals will create that incubator that will produce the millennium of FAMU.”
One concern that was raised during the meeting was if a student could stay in his or her major regardless of the cuts.
Ammons put juniors and seniors at ease when he said that those students would be able to complete their major with the same credentials.
Whatever questions that Ammons could not answer clear enough for students, Hughes-Harris explained further.
“She more or less tried to emphasize but didn’t provide a sufficient answer toward my concern,” Allen said.
Although students may still have burning questions, some were thankful that Ammons took the time to alleviate a few concerns.
Steven Pargett, a fourth-year public relations student, was thankful for the opportunity to voice his concerns directly to Ammons.