Monday, July 06, 2015

Florida State currently has deanship and budget authority for College of Engineering

Dean Yaw Yeboah and Interim Dean-designate Bruce Locke
On July 1, FAMU stopped having a meaningful say in the operation of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). This could continue for as long as a year.

Florida State University replaced FAMU as the fiscal agent of the COE on July 1. FSU employee Yaw Yeboah is still the dean and will continue in that job until his resignation takes effect on July 31. Another FSU employee will then begin serving as the interim dean.

According to a joint press release from FAMU and FSU on June 1: “Marcella David, J.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at FAMU, and Sally McRorie, interim provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at FSU announced that Bruce Locke, Ph.D., former chair of the COE Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering and currently FSU associate provost, will assume the role of interim dean on Aug. 1.”

Sunday, July 05, 2015

FAMU makes history with two black female doctoral graduates in physics

FAMU continues to be the top producer of doctoral degrees awarded to African Americans in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related programs (STEM), according to the FAMU Annual Accountability Report.

Staci R. Brown from Chicago, Illinois and Patrice Jackson-Edwards from Jacksonville, Florida both received their doctoral degrees in physics during the FAMU 2015 Spring Commencement exercise. Doctoral degrees in physics received by black women are a rare and uncommon occurrence. According to data provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), there were approximately 1,600 doctoral degrees awarded in physics in 2013-2014; none were received by women, and only two were received by blacks, both of which were earned at FAMU.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Exchanging $12.9M engineering budget for deanship is nothing close to a fair trade

On June 3, Florida State University President John Thrasher said that FSU will be the new fiscal agent for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). FAMU had served as the fiscal agent/budget manager since 1987.

That statement by Thrasher came two days after a joint press release from FAMU and FSU announced that COE Dean Yaw Yeboah would step down on July 31. The June 1 release added that “the tenure home for the next dean will rotate to Florida A&M University.” FSU had been in charge in of selection the COE dean and had served as the tenure home of all the deans since 1987.

The FAMU Board of Trustees did not take a vote to approve any changes to the 1987 agreement that designated FAMU as the fiscal agent/budget manager for the College of Engineering before Thrasher’s announcement on June 3.

Exchanging the $12,996,539 operating budget for the COE for the deanship is nothing close to a fair trade and greatly diminishes FAMU’s influence in the program.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Preview: Rattler Nation’s continuing coverage of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

Rattler Nation is the only news source that’s covered the recent developments in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering that led to FAMU losing its budget authority for the program.

Here’s a preview of two of the editorials we’ll have ready for you next week:

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

FAMU loses budget authority for College of Engineering after 28 years

Today is the first in 28 years that FAMU won’t be the fiscal agent/budget manager for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

July 1st is the official beginning of the new fiscal year and the Chief Financial Officer of Florida will begin sending the $12,996,539 appropriated budget for the engineering college to FSU instead of FAMU.

The Florida Legislature originally placed that money in the FAMU general revenue line item at the beginning of the 2015 session as it has for nearly 30 years. But on February 19, FAMU President Elmira Mangum gave her support to a Florida Board of Governors proposal that asked the legislature to create a new budget entity for the COE. The Florida House of Representatives and Senate both shifted the $12,996,539 operating budget for the COE from the FAMU general revenue line item to a new budget entity entitled “FAMU/FSU College of Engineering” in March.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No public explanation for how shifting engineering budget from FAMU to FSU will help resolve faculty salary disparities

Early into her FAMU presidency, Elmira Mangum presented the university Board of Trustees with a budget workbook that described the problem of faculty salary disparities in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). That document dated April 29, 2014 said that “over the years, salary increases at FSU and no corresponding increases at FAMU have contributed to the disparity.”

This problem is part of the reason why FAMU has a much smaller number of engineering professors at the college than FSU does. The workbook explained that: “When [FAMU’s] most outstanding faculty receive better offers, FSU often is unwilling to let the College lose them. For FSU faculty, FSU provides counter offers and for FAMU faculty FSU provides new faculty lines with competitive salaries to retain them. While the net effect benefits the College, from [the] FAMU perspective however, it shifts the distribution of faculty between FAMU and FSU, especially the most productive.”

The $10.9M COE appropriation that FAMU received from the legislature for 2014-2015 paid for facility operations and the salaries of 23 FAMU professors and 27 FSU professors. FSU received a separate appropriation of $5M in its general revenue (E&G) budget that paid for another 36 FSU professors.