FAMU turnover rates impact students

Photo courtesy: Brendon O’Gilvie

There is always change happening at Florida A&M University, but change doesn’t always have a positive impact on the students, especially when the change is what seems to have become a revolving door of professors, deans and advisors. 

Year after year professors, advisors, and deans move onto new ventures whether it be through retirement or resignation, but what isn’t taken into consideration as much in that moment is just how distressing that can be for students. 

When selecting courses for the semester, most students look up the instructor on RateMyProfessor.com to see if they want to take that class or ask other students if the professor is a good choice. It’s hard to make a decision on whether to take a class or not when the instructor tab says TBA (to be announced) or the professor hasn’t been taken previously by other students.  

FAMU’s turnover hurts the proactive student just as much as the student that waits till the last minute to register for courses. 

It is especially taxing to students when new professors and advisors arrive at FAMU and don’t understand the culture of the school, how to connect with students, or may not be able answer important questions like graduation requirements, and post-graduation options. 

The college experience is all about networking and having support; when we don’t have that long-term with faculty, it hurts us to get connected outside of FAMU. Jordan Villafana, who recently graduated from FAMU with a degree in supply chain management, shared his experience.

“Professors play a pivotal role in securing opportunities,” Villafana said. “When advisors leave, you pretty much just have to figure it out by yourself.”

The student who is proactive is almost at more of a disadvantage because in some cases it might be better to sign-up for classes closer to the start of the semester to see who will be staying with the university opposed to doing the research on a professor in advance when they may not even be there on the first day of the semester.

Ichana Destin, a fourth-year health care management major shared how advisors leaving impacted her academic path.

“I’m on my third straight advisor now” Destin said. “It complicates things when people don’t know your situation”. 

As students, consistency is key but when those who are put in place to help students aren’t consistently staying with the university it creates more unnecessary problems.

Arielle Drayton, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student voiced her concerns for improvement when it comes to hiring new employees at FAMU.

“It impacted my schedule severely”, Drayton said. “I wasn’t able to be a full-time student this semester because professors were misplaced and bad scheduling.”

Drayton also shared her thoughts on seeing faculty move on to bigger and better things from FAMU.

“They’re getting better opportunities. We need to step it up so we can help more students and more faculty be retained,” she said. 

Florida A&M currently have multiple positions available online through various job boards like Indeed.com and LinkedIn. Some of the current positions include: coordinator for administrative services, faculty position in Data Science and Machine learning and several instructor positions.