Trustees cover accreditation, other topics

At the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, members discussed the status of the presidential search, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation, roommate housing contracts from FAMU’s housing department, plans for recruitment and retention and campus renovations.

It was announced that the presidential search committee Wednesday chose six presidential candidates to move forward in the selection process, and the candidates have been invited to FAMU for interviews Dec. 14 and 15. The search committee expects to come out of those meetings with only three candidates. Stakeholders and various constituencies that include students, alumni, faculty and staff will interview those candidates chosen. Vivian Hobbs, associate vice president over SACS, provided information on the 2008 SACS initiative, which includes 12 standing committees and an enhancement committee as a new component.

These committees are assembled through volunteers.Student Body President Phillip Agnew is petitioning for more student volunteers to get involved in the accreditation process as a way to make things more inclusive for students.

“It makes no sense to not have students on the committee,” Agnew said. “Students are the ones that are directly affected by accreditation and right now the committee is not reflected accurately because faculty have their own opinions.”LaNedra Carroll, director of public affairs, reiterated Hobbs’ sentiments from the meeting.

“Dr. Hobbs definitely wanted to let people know that we are moving forward and addressing accreditation in an aggressive manner,” Carroll said.

In Interim President Castell V. Bryant’s address, she commended FAMU’s Volleyball team and FAMU DRS’ state champion football team on their progress in academics. Bryant also discussed recently renovated buildings and plans for future renovations.

In addition to the new heating and air conditioning system in the Gaither Gymnasium, the athletic training room has been enlarged and there are plans for the Commons, which is located near the Orange Room, to be renovated. She also mentioned the housing department’s plans for roommate contracts.

Director of Housing Isaac Brundage elaborated on the contracts, which will be fully implemented next year. “These new roommate contracts will give students an opportunity to sit down and talk to their roommates about sharing food, visitations, study times and things that may cause conflict later,” Brundage said.

Agnew also presented a “giving resolution” mandating that board members donate a certain amount of money to the university every year. The board accepted the resolution unanimously.

An amount has not been set, Agnew said.During the meeting, the board also went more in depth about phase one of the new recruitment plan.

The plan is to boost enrollment management, enhance customer service assessments and evaluations and ultimately get student affairs reorganized to handle or address enrollment more effectively.

A call center is being established in January as a way to improve communication between the university and future FAMU students.