Friday, April 14, 2017

Two FAMU Rattlers selected for prestigious ACE Fellowship

The American Council on Education (ACE) announced that Florida A&M University’s David H. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D., and Brian C. Lucas, D.M., have been named ACE Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year.

Jackson serves as FAMU’s associate provost for Graduate Education and dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Lucas is the coordinator of public affairs for FAMU’s Office of Communications and serves as the managing editor of the University’s newsletter.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model. Forty-six fellows, nominated by the senior administration of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bruno, Harrison re-elected to lead FAMU SGA

On Thursday, April 6, Florida A&M University students re-elected Justin Bruno and Devin Harrison to lead the Student Government Association (SGA). They will begin their second terms as SGA president and vice-president, respectively, next month.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Bruno and Harrison defeated their run-off opponents by a margin of 714-655.”

Back during their campaign for re-election, Bruno and Harrison released a video that discussed their long battle to take office after FAMU students initially elected them on February 16, 2016.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

State audit: FAMU lost $1.4M in tuition and fees in 2015-2016, mainly due to enrollment drop

The enrollment decline continued to hurt FAMU’s budget last fiscal year.

The "Management's Discussion and Analysis" section of the recent FAMU financial statement audit said that the enrollment drop was the main factor that caused FAMU to lose more than a million dollars in tuition and fees in 2015-2016.

“Net student tuition and fees decreased by $1.4 million, or 3.1 percent, as compared to the 2014-15 fiscal year,” the section said. “This decrease was due primarily to a decline in enrollment.” 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

FAMU finishes FYE 2016 with 11,178 students

FAMU’s enrollment fell for the fifth consecutive fiscal year in 2016. The university’s 12-month unduplicated headcount for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 was 11,178. That was a decline of 312 students from the previous fiscal year, when the total enrollment was 11,490.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Legacy Banquet raises $225,000 for FAMU athletics

It was a star-studded affair, representing the best of FAMU.  The Legacy Committee and the FAMU Foundation, Inc., presented one of the most effective and lucrative fundraisers in the history of the university.

The brainchild of the Rev. Dr. R.B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and a former FAMU trustee, the banquet was a fundraising initiative to assist FAMU Athletics.  He defined the event in his opening statement, saying “Thank you for your love and thank you for your support of our great institution.”

When all the fanfare subsided, the net result was $225,000 for the department.  Clearly it was one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the university.  The banquet honored 15 special Rattlers and was financially supported by several dedicated  businesses and individuals.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Audit shows Mangum, and friends, racked up more than $3.2m in p-card charges in final year

In the year leading up to her ouster former President, Elmira Mangum issued more than 127 FAMU purchase cards to employees including her Chief of Staff Jimmy Miller,  two executive assistants to the president, and the wife of the executive assistant to the president, who racked up more than $3.2 million in charges.  

Last August it was reported that Miller had racked up over $150,000 in charges on his FAMU issued purchasing card. Miller's charges mostly covered airline travel, taxi & car services and rental cars.  Records also showed that Magnum amassed over $81,000 in travel, which included expensive limousine rides and stays at the Waldorf-Astoria and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

Mangum is expected to return to the FAMU faculty after a one year sabbatical.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Pereira receives MEAC Softball Co-Pitcher of the Week honor

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has selected Florida A&M junior Kenya Pereira as its Co-Pitcher of the Week. She shares the honor with Morgan State’s Amy Begg.

Pereira (RHP, 5-3, Jr., Kissimmee, Fla.) recorded a 1.31 ERA in a win over South Carolina State. She allowed just one run on one hit in 5.1 innings pitched. Pereira also struck out 13 batters in the victory.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Fullwood named MEAC Softball Player of the Week

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has selected Florida A&M senior Amber Fullwood as its Softball Player of the Week.

Fullwood (3B, 5-5, Sr., Land O’ Lakes, Fla.) batted .571 in a three-game sweep of South Carolina State. She led the Rattlers in the series with eight hits, including one home run, and 11 RBI. Fullwood also hit for the cycle in the series with a pair of doubles and a triple. Defensively, Fullwood registered one putout and seven assists at third base.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

FAMU SGA presidential election heads into run-off

The FAMUan reports that there will be a run-off in the race for the positions of Student Government Association (SGA) president and vice-president.

Incumbent President Justin Bruno and Vice-President Devin Harrison will face-off against the Marquise McMiller/William Gardner ticket. McMiller, a staunch Republican, who on his Facebook page had been supportive of Donald Trump, and Gardner are both members of the FAMU Student Senate.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

COPPS turns to Access Pharmacy, pre-NAPLEX to help students prepare for board exam

FAMU Pharmacy Dean Michael Thompson
Yesterday, the Capital Outlook published a report on the steps that the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) is taking to help more of its students pass the the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) on their first try.

According to the Outlook, “The last class of students that took the exam for the first time averaged a 59.3 score, lowest in the 66-year history of the pharmacy program.”

From the article “FAMU makes push to improve failing pharmacy test scores”:

[Pharmacy Dean Michael Thompson] began to put in motion a curriculum last December with the intention of enabling students to get better results. He and his faculty used the Christmas break last year to create a board review for the students that involved a midweek video conference for student in Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Crestview.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

HBCU Digest: Gasman tough on majority black BOTs at HBCUs, but not white system leaders

HBCU Digest recently took University of Pennsylvania Professor Marybeth Gasman to task for being quick to criticize problems that predominantly black boards of trustees create at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), but mainly ignoring the harm that white leaders of state university systems cause at HBCUs.

Gasman is the director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

From HBCU Digest:

Dozens of HBCU presidents over the last few years have been fired, but only a handful of them of earned the defense of University of Pennsylvania professor Marybeth Gasman in the pages of national news. Today, outgoing Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson became the latest to earn the Ivy League endorsement…

She did something similar for former Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum last September, accusing its board of sexism and interference…

Monday, April 03, 2017

Scott within striking distance of Nelson’s U.S. Senate seat after helping Trump win Florida

The Florida GOP is gaining ground in its long-held goal to unseat the last statewide elected Democratic official in the state.

A recent poll by the Saint Leo University showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott is within the margin of error in a potential 2018 general election challenge against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.

The poll asked respondents whom they would support if the November 2018 election was being that day and they were presented with a choice between Scott and Nelson for Senate. The results were close, with Nelson’s support at 38.7 percent compared to Scott at 34.3 percent. Nearly 17 percent could not decide, and 10.3 percent said they want someone else.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Florida students leave more than $100 million in Pell Grants unclaimed

Prospective FAMU, and other Florida, students leave millions in federal financial aid unclaimed according to a data by the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) which shows that Florida high schools with the most low-income students have the lowest Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates.

At schools with large numbers of low-income students, just 27 percent of students completed their forms — more than 28 percent less than the state average FCAN found.

Because of the low FAFSA completion rate, Florida students leave behind over $100 million in federal Pell Grant money the data shows.

“A lot of research tells us the students who would benefit the most from financial aid are often the students least likely to know the aid is available," said Troy Miller, associate director for Research & Policy at the Florida College Access Network. "So they don’t fill out the forms because don’t think they’ll be eligible or they’re averse to loans or they’re confused about how financial aid works."

Saturday, April 01, 2017

FAMU alumna appointed to senior management team of NAACP Legal Defense Fund

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) recently announced the addition of Florida A&M University alumna Melanie Roussell Newman to its senior management team. She will serve as Chief Public Engagement and Communications Strategist.

“Ms. Newman will oversee a critical expansion of our communications department and will be responsible for shaping messaging strategy across all LDF practice areas as well as developing public relations on behalf of the Thurgood Marshall Institute,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of LDF.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Robinson speaks to ORNL about importance of HBCUs

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. former Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researcher discussed the past, present and future of African Americans and education as the featured speaker at the ORNL Black History Month Committee’s Annual Soul Food Tasting event Feb. 16.

Robinson has had a long, accomplished career, and he credits his success to the quality of his early education. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in chemistry and earned his doctorate in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 1984. Later that year, he joined ORNL as a staff researcher and eventual group leader.

His time at ORNL was marked by his investigation into the cause of death of President Zachary Taylor in 1850. Using neutrons from the High Flux Isotope Reactor and samples of Taylor’s hair and fingernails, Robinson and his team determined that Taylor did not die from arsenic poisoning, debunking a long-held speculation about the late president’s demise.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bruno, Harrison running for reelection as top FAMU SGA leaders

The FAMUan reports that Justin Bruno and Devin Harrison are running for reelection to the positions of Florida A&M University student body president and vice-president, respectively.

Back on February 16, 2016 Bruno and Harrison won the positions of SGA president and vice-president by 163 votes. They received 1,366 to the 1,203 votes of the Victor Chrispin/Pernell Mitchell ticket. But they were not able to take office until Wednesday, January 11, 2017 due to a long legal battle over the election results and the failure of Student Government Association (SGA) officials to schedule a new election in a timely fashion.

If Bruno wins reelection to the SGA presidency, he will follow Tonette Graham and Gallop Franklin as students who were elected twice to represent the FAMU student body on the Board of Trustees.

Two additional tickets have filed for the race. One ticket consists of Marquise McMiller and William Gardner. The other consists of Dajuh Sawyer and Byron Carter.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SB 2 could help FAMU’s access rate funding, but make grad rate funding more difficult

Florida Senate President Joe Negron at FAMU in April, 2016
Senate Bill (SB) 2 could make it more difficult for Florida A&M University to get performance funds based on its graduation rate. But FAMU would likely qualify for more performance funds based on its access rate, which could be invested into helping students finish college quicker.

SB 2 would change the preferred performance funding measure for State University System of Florida (SUS) graduation rates from six years to four years. That would hurt FAMU, which had the lowest four year graduation rate in the SUS in 2015 at 13.4 percent. The University of West Florida was at 19.4 percent and Florida Gulf Coast University was at 19.9 percent.

But SB 2 could help FAMU gain a larger share of the performance funding dollars in the access rate category. The Florida Board of Governors (BOG), which distributes performance funds, defines the access rate as “the number of undergraduates, enrolled during the fall term, who received a Pellgrant during the fall term.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

FAMU pharmacy college submits plan to address NAPLEX first-try pass rates

The Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has submitted a plan for reserving the recent decline in its first-try passage rate on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination, commonly referred to as NAPLEX.

On Sunday, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Pharmacy Dean Michael Thompson, who has held the position since 2012, turned in the report to the senior administration. The College of Law and School of Nursing deans also submitted formal action plans for reserving declines in the first-try licensure test passage rates at their respective colleges.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Many Florida voters still undecided about potential field in 2018 gubernatorial race

L-R: Andrew Gillum, John Morgan, Patrick Murphy, Mike Huckabee, Adam Putnam
The results of a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey showed that many Florida voters remain undecided about the announced and potential candidates in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Democratic respondents were asked to choose from a list of names a candidate they would support if the party primary for the governor was being held that day. “I don’t know” was the most frequent answer with 35.5 percent of responses.

Former Congressman Patrick Murphy, who opposed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in the most recent election, came in next with 20.2 percent. Though Murphy was elected to Congress in 2012 and 2014, Frank Orlando, political scientist and director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, said it was the unsuccessful race against Rubio that gave Murphy enough name recognition statewide to be named so often by Democrats taking the survey.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

FAMU alumna named vice president of communications for Council on Foundations

The Council on Foundations recently announced its decision to name Florida A&M University alumna Janelle Carter Brevard as its new vice president of communications. She will lead the Council’s strategic communications efforts to advance its policy and programmatic agenda.

A veteran of Washington communications and politics, Brevard most recently served as Director of Communications and Government Affairs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. In that capacity, she led a team responsible for public and legislative affairs, strategic planning and messaging, and media relations.