FAMU Board of Trustees takes initiatives to improve student life and funding for university


Florida A&M University Board of Trustees held a committee meeting the morning of March 8, in the Grand Ballroom discussing important topics such as graduation and retention rates, athletic funding, and funding for new on-campus housing.

The BOT also discussed the initiatives on how to increase the Licensure Pass Rate in the Nursing and Physical Therapy programs. The initiatives the university plans to take in improving graduation and retention rates are as follows: enhance advisement process, enhance achievement process, use of early alert systems and predictive analytics and lastly, expanding on Living-Learning communities.

President Dr. Larry Robinson spoke on the university’s retention rates in relation to the university’s living-learning communities, “One of our successful initiatives–that is our living-learning communities, we do in fact want to expand on…”

The FAMU BOT approved a pre-development agreement to continue planning a new dormitory for the university, expected to be online by 2020. The plan includes building a 700-bed dormitory which will reside at Osceola Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The project is expected to be worth $50 million. While the BOT figures out the best way to fund this project, they plan to apply for Federal money from the U.S. Department of Education, bond financing, and public-private partnership via Construct two, which is the developer of the new housing project.

“No matter where the money comes from–we have to continue to pursue all options. This is a critical must-do for us,” says Board Chairman Kelvin Lawson.

President Larry Robinson conveyed the importance of new student housing and that it is a first priority.

Robinson later discussed the $21 million dollar construction of the Center for Access and Student Success has not been included in the House and Senate Budget but clarified that the university has received $16 million from the state, and will plan to gain more funding for the plan over the course of this year. The new student success center will bring student services to one location instead of being dispersed all over campus.

Tommy Mitchell, Executive Director of FAMU Rattler Boosters Inc., explained initiatives to increase athletic funding. One of his plans included allowing potential membership on the board to give $1000 to the athletic department. Mr. Mitchell also described the Boosters initiative to increase funds by creating a homecoming campaign to be an annual giving program. Members of FAMU boosters will donate at least $100 which will go directly to the athletic department.

“The idea is to make sure we have separate funds that go to the athletic department immediately,” explained Mitchell.  

On another note, The Board of Trustees re-appointed Kelvin Lawson from Jacksonville, FL, as chair on the Board of Trustees, as well as re-appointed Kimberly Moore, Vice President for Workforce Development at Tallahassee Community College as Vice Chair on the BOT. The Board also approved initiatives to improve Physical Therapy and Occupational therapy programs to increase the Pass Rate.