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Preliminary Report: FAMU-FSU Separation Could Cost $1 Billion

The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

A preliminary report on the future of the joint Florida A&M-Florida State University College of Engineering shows a separation could be as high as a billion dollars.

The Florida legislature commissioned the study earlier this year after a plan pushed by former State Senator John Thrasher failed. Thrasher is now president of Florida State University.

According to the study, separating the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and creating two separate programs at each university could be a billion-dollar task. The report by the consulting from Collaborative Brain Trust also lists pros and cons of separation.

It notes that the FAMU-FSU Engineering school has been a model of cooperation between a public, white majority university and an HBCU. It also notes the school has produced women and minority graduates in engineering—groups underrepresented in the field. But it also acknowledges problems, like a need for renovation, FAMU’s enrollment drops at the school, and dissatisfaction from FSU faculty.

The report also calls the current way the school is run, "dysfunctional" and says the administrative problems need to be addressed. But it adds, any plans to separate the school could end up in a federal lawsuit.

A final report is due Dec. 10.

The state university system governing board  is expected to consider the report's findings at its January meeting.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.
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