CIS students voice concerns

Benjamin Banneker building A is where the CIS department is located. Photo courtesy Gabrielle Hall

Some students in Florida A&M University’s Computer Information Systems department are saying their program is underfunded.

Caleb McLean, a fourth-year information technology major, says that there are multiple areas the department can improve on.

“We need more updated and current computers. We also need better software, we need a stronger Wi-Fi presence being that it’s a department centered around computers and technology,” McLean said.

“We definitely need the curriculums revised and audited to match the actual resources we have at our disposal, and lastly I think we need to start trying to broaden our network within the job opportunities aspect for the students,” he added.

Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Eli Lilly and Fifth Third Bank are a few of the companies that regularly visit the department searching for prospective interns. The students look forward to the companies’ recruitment process.

Edward Jones, the department chair, said in an email that staffing is an issue. The limited number of faculty puts a strain on the department.

“Suffice it to say that the department is growing the number of academic programs but has not significantly increased the number of faculty,” Jones said. “We also have a very high level of interaction with companies who want to recruit our students and invest in the department. Coordination of these efforts places a drain on current CIS faculty.”

The department is located in Benjamin Banneker building A. It currently has 13 professors. Most of the professors teach multiple courses across the discipline.

Chris Williams, a fourth-year computer information systems major, says students rarely receive information on what’s happening in the department.

“I do feel as though the department is underfunded, and I’ve had that feeling all four years,” Williams said. “We seldom learn up to date information, and some of the professors are notorious for giving a lot of students trouble. I feel as though with technology being a growing industry, it can benefit the institution and our technology department.”

Besides the inner department issues with staffing and equipment, the department’s interior could also use some improvements. A new central air conditioning, elevator and upgraded furniture would spice up the department’s look. With Benjamin Banneker regarded as FAMU’s technology building, you would expect to see an upscale renovated interior.

Although many departments at FAMU count on alumni donations to improve their program, there should be other sources of funding to contribute to the advancement of the department.