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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

2007: FAMU trustees rebuff Castell’s decision to support shift of COE fiscal agent duties to FSU

Back in 2007, the FAMU Board of Trustees took action after the interim president chose to go along with a change that was inconsistent with a university policy.

FAMU’s policy for the past 28 years has been that it wants to serve as the fiscal agent/budget manager of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). That was established by a 1987 agreement between FAMU and FSU that received the approval of the Board of Regents, which was the policy-making body for both of the universities at the time. The FAMU Board of Trustees adopted that policy when the Florida law made it the new policy-making body for the university in 2001.

But six years later, Interim President Castell V. Bryant said she had no problem with a legislative plan to transfer the COE fiscal agent/budget manager duties from FAMU to FSU. A Tallahassee Democrat article from March 30, 2007 stated that “after discussing it with [FSU President T.K. Wetherell], she said she was fine with the change.”

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Durell Peaden, driving force behind FAMU’s Rural Diversity Healthcare Center, dies at 69

Former state Sen. Durell Peaden with FAMU officials in Crestview in 2012
The former state senator who was the driving force behind FAMU’s Rural Diversity Healthcare Center in Crestview, Fla., died on Tuesday, June 23 at the age 69.

Durell Peaden succumbed to a heart attack in Erie, Pa., where he worked as a dean for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He previously served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1995 to 2000 and the Florida Senate from 2001 until his term limit in 2010.

“He was probably proudest of being able to bring the FAMU pharmacy school to Crestview,” said Sen. Greg Evers, who was elected to succeed Peaden in 2010.