Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Yeboah to step down, new engineering dean’s tenure home will be at FAMU

Yesterday, a joint press release from FAMU and Florida State University announced that Yaw Yeboah will step down as dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) on July 31.

Yeboah became the fifth dean of the COE on July 1, 2012. Bruce Locke, 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. A national search for the next dean of the College will begin in the fall.

According to the press release: “the tenure home for the next dean will rotate to FAMU.”

Back in 1987, FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries and FSU President Bernie Sliger signed an agreement that said that FAMU would permanently manage the operations budget for the College of Engineering.
The joint press release did not specify whether the decision to “rotate” the next dean’s tenure home means that FAMU and FSU are set to switch the roles established by the 1987 agreement. The FAMU Board of Trustees has not taken a vote to approve a change to the 1987 agreement.  

FSU has been working around FAMU’s control of the operations budget for years by lobbying the Florida Legislature to appropriate more and more money into a separate budget that goes into FSU’s general revenue.

A Tallahassee Democrat article from last year reported that: “The joint budget is about $11 million, while the FSU budget is $5 million ‘and has been growing,’ Yeboah said. There are 23 FAMU and 27 FSU tenure-track faculty in the joint budget, and 36 tenure-track faculty in the separate FSU budget.”

The Florida House of Representatives and Senate both voted to take the increased COE operations budget of $12.9 million out of the FAMU general revenue appropriation this year and put it into a new budget entity entitled: “FAMU/FSU College of Engineering.” The separate FSU budget is still part of that university’s general revenue and is not specified in a line item.

If FSU becomes the new fiscal agent/budget manager for the COE, then it will manage at least $17.9 million for the college and FAMU will manage $0.

Note: This post contains corrections made on October 19, 2015.

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