Friday, April 8, 2011

Board of Trustees Unanimously Approves the University Restructuring and Reinvesting Plan

Today, before a standing room only audience comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees approved of FAMU President James H. Ammons’ Restructuring and Reinvestment Plan.

The goals of the plan are to strengthen academic programs and academic structure while contending with fiscal constraints; increase academic and administrative efficiencies and productivity; and reinvest in focused areas of strength.

“What Florida A&M University will look like years from now will be the result of the hard work of faculty, staff, students and campus leaders who developed a bold, brilliant and progressive course for FAMU for this decade and years to come,” said Ammons. “We are proud of this restructuring and reinvestment plan because it has helped us to align the strategic plan with the comprehensive restructuring decisions to ensure that FAMU is an environment that nurtures the Millennial FAMUan.”

According to Ammons, the Millennial FAMUan is someone that thinks critically, solves complex problems and is conversant in global issues.

The Restructuring Plan outlines a new academic structure as follows:

* College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
* College of Law
* College of Engineering
* School of Journalism and Graphic Communication
* School of Nursing
* School of Allied Health Sciences
* School of Business Industry
* College of Health Professions
* College of Education
* School of Environmental Sciences
* School of Public Health
* School of Architecture
* College of Agriculture
* College of Science, Technology and Mathematics
* College of Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities

The notable changes are that the Colleges of Pharmacy, Law and Engineering and the Schools of Journalism, Nursing and Allied Health will remain in tact. The School of Business and Industry will remain as stand alone, but will add a Division of Economics. The College of Education will now house all the teacher education programs. The two institutes will be elevated to become the School of Environmental Sciences and the School of Public Health, which will increase their national visibility and prominence. The School of Architecture will incorporate the Engineering Technology Program from the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA). The College of Agriculture will be reorganized which will allow the University to focus on this important aspect of the University’s mission and work. The College of Science, Technology and Mathematics was created from programs in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as CESTA. The College of Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities is made up of programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The newly created University Programs will provide non-degree granting units that are essential to the work of retention, distance education, international studies and the Honors Institute. The University created this organization to create an academic environment that will be nurturing. Also, it is relevant for modern education to prepare our students to work in a collaborative manner. Implementing this structure will take a few years.

The academic units that will lose some of their programs are as follows: College of Education; College of Arts and Sciences; School of Journalism and Graphic Communication; School Architecture; and the School of Business and Industry.

Ammons noted that most of these programs will continue for another one to two years in order to “teach out” currently enrolled students.

“We will permit those students with more than 60 hours in their major to complete these programs,” said Ammons. “Incoming freshmen will not be permitted to declare these programs as a major.”

The unfortunate part of the plan is that 242 positions will be terminated. Of the 242 positions, 109 employees are on federal stimulus money, which these individuals are scheduled to lose their jobs on June 30, 2011. These individuals were given a year’s notice. Of the 242 positions, 44 are vacant.

FAMU will re-engineer its business processes by using the T3E (Transformation Through Technology Enhancements) process, which will re-engineer 15 administrative processes to reduce manual processes. The University also will develop a centralized unit called Administrative Services Assistance Program or “ASAP,” which will eliminate repeatable processes across the campus. This unit will handle business processes such as travel, purchasing, hiring and payroll.

“This is a painful but necessary process,” said Richard A. Dent III, vice chair of the Board of Trustees.

As the University moves forward, the future steps for FAMU will be to reduce the operating budget by 10 percent, generate revenue by increasing tuition and use any cost savings to reinvest in critical areas such as manage current and future reductions, support academic success initiatives, optimize technology, and increase faculty and staff compensation.

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