Board of Trustees meet to discuss university’s academics

Photo credit: Sydne Vigille

On Wednesday, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s Board of Trustees met at 2 p.m. to discuss students and the changes with academics on campus. The room was filled with different faculty members listening to the updates with programs on FAMU’s campus.

Dean Murray Gibson requested for a new degree program for the School of Engineering. This program would be a master of science in system engineering. There is already an approval from the Board of Trustees at Florida State University for this program. This would be a 33 credit hour program that will begin to be offered in the fall of 2018.

Nationally, Systems Engineering graduates are in high demand and offer high salaries, averaging between $85,000 and $90,000, depending on the source consulted. Offering this type of degree will consistently be the mission of FAMU as it will not only increase the number of graduate degree offerings in STEM; an area of strategic emphasis by the Board of Governors, but will also enhance economic development within the State of Florida.

“System engineering is a rapidly growing, relatively young, highly interdisciplinary. Basically, it is about bringing engineering from different disciplines to bear on complex systems, designing them, implementing them and sustaining them,” Gibson said.

SGA President, Devin Harrison.
Photo credit: Adlernico Brioche

This program will help encourage more students to be a part of FAMU’s sector within the School of Engineering. The BOT collectively agreed that this would be an excellent addition to FAMU.

FAMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan Director, Dr. Jennifer Collins, discussed the QEP update for the hour. The QEP plan is focused on improving and enhancing student learning. The goal of imitative is to improve the writing across all curriculum at the university. There will also be writing enhanced courses for each program which would accumulate up to 5 years.

Board of Trustee member, Nicole Washington, expressed her concern about the strategy for how this writing program will significant improvements among the students.

“What we are expecting is an outcome. We don’t struggle to implement any initiative, but I think, thinking about the outcome we actually expect to see… and how (the outcome) actually (is) going to improve with structure overall,” said Washington.

The QEP program explains the importance of writing, and how all majors need basic communication skills before they graduate. Overall, the writing amongst students at FAMU is not up to par, so this new program will help improve the writing within the matriculation of college.

Bryan F. Smith discusses the updates of preventing hazing on FAMU’s campus by making sure students that are interested in different organizations participate in the anti-hazing seminar, and be required to take the online prevention course. There were 4,619 students that have already participated in the anti-hazing seminar. Smith wants to continue to see FAMU students protected from hazing.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure that our students enjoy a safe environment,” said Smith.

To conclude the meeting, Dr. William Hudson talked about the 2+2 program continuing to be successful with transferring students from Tallahassee Community College to FAMU.  Yet, he would like to see an improvement in gaining more students from different community colleges outside of Tallahassee. Board of Trustees Nicole Washington is proud of the number of students that are transferring into FAMU but just wants to make sure that they are having an easy transition throughout the time here.