Sunday, December 11, 2016

Lawson touts FAMU’s new direction during meeting between BOT chairs and Scott

Chairs from each of the State University System’s Boards of Trustees shared key information and concerns with Gov. Rick Scott during a meeting at the Governor’s Mansion on Nov. 21.

Kelvin Lawson, chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees and a participant in the meeting, said he was encouraged by the session and believes it was very productive.

“I thought it was a good forum. The governor has been very interested in higher education in the state, very interested in job creation, and very interested in making sure that when students graduate from one of our institutions that there is a job available to them, primarily in the State of Florida,” said Lawson, who is a FAMU alumnus.

After listening to opening remarks from Gov. Scott and Board of Governors Chancellor Marshall Criser III, each trustee gave a brief presentation.  At that time, the chairmen discussed policies and procedures currently being implemented at their respective institutions, regarding improving graduation rates, reducing student debt, and job placement post-graduation.

“He really threw a challenge out to the boards to be even more engaged with university leadership to ensure that all of those things were happening,” Lawson said.

Additional areas Lawson discussed during his presentation to the governor included goals established for Interim President Larry Robinson and the First Year Experience Program.

After learning more about measures being implemented for at each institution, Lawson said he was also encouraged by the feedback received from Scott and Criser.

“We had a lengthy discussion on performance metrics. I think the good news coming out of that discussion is they are open to hearing our perspective on how those metrics can be tweaked,” he added.

Overall, Lawson believes the session was highly productive and hopes it will serve as a footprint for future meetings

“He (Gov. Scott) was complimentary of FAMU and feels that things appear to be moving in the right direction and complimented us on the makeup of our board. We also challenged him to hold similar discussions at least once a year with the board chairs. I believe it elevates each board’s level of responsibility as it relates to working with the administration,” Lawson said.

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