Thursday, December 15, 2016

Athletic fee losses from enrollment decline reduced funds for critical Bragg repairs

Yesterday, many so-called Rattlers who didn’t care about the multi-million dollar enrollment decline under former President Elmira Mangum threw fits on Facebook over news about a financial problem that was made worse by those student loses. 

Tallahassee Democrat reporter Jordan Culver discussed the details that Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. and Chief Financial Officer Angela Poole shared during a Board of Trustees workshop.

“FAMU must spend $622,000 for structural repairs and internal stair replacement or [Bragg Memorial Stadium] will not be cleared for fall competition,” Culver tweeted yesterday.

According to Culver, Poole explained that if FAMU doesn’t obtain the full $622,000 required for the mandatory repairs, then some sections of the football stadium will have to be closed.

The university has had less to spend on athletics in recent years mainly because of the enrollment decline, which has reduced the amount that FAMU receives from student athletic fees.

FAMU spent $10,124,131 on athletics back in 2012-2013 back when fall enrollment was at 12,051. That has gone down every year since then mainly due to the enrollment decline.

FAMU budgeted $8,937,500 for athletics this year and expects to have an end-of-the-year deficit of about $650,000. Fall 2016 enrollment is 9,612.

Enrollments at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) all across the nation were hurt by the overhaul of the federal financial aid program in 2011. FAMU continued to lose students during the Mangum presidency (April 2014-September 2016).

Mangum defended the enrollment decline by stating that: “Quantity does have to be sacrificed in order to get quality.”

But North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University and Jackson State University all succeeded in growing their enrollments and raising their average freshman GPAs at the same time. All three universities had enrollment bumps with freshman classes that had 3.0+ average GPAs in 2015-2016.

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