FAMU Students Criticize Engineering School Split

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Separate and unequal.

FAMU students and supportive lawmakers say a proposed split of the FAMU-FSU Engineering School would have that result.

In 1966, FAMU's former law school was forced to shut down when FSU's law school opened.

With the backdrop of the old law school, FAMU students say they oppose a split of the FAMU-FSU Engineering School into two separate schools.

"Our curriculums are heavy, but our hearts are even heavier because now there's a sadness at the engineering school," said engineering student Jessica Long.

Without going through the committee process or a campanion measure in the House, State Senator John Thrasher of St. Augustine introduced an amendment to the state budget Thursday to separate the two schools.

He says two schools would mean more desperately needed engineering students.

But FAMU leaders say they weren't notified about the plan until the same day fhe measure was passed.

"As a former legislator, I would never have attempted anything in this manner," said Marjorie Turnbull of the FAMU Board of Trustees.

Reporter: "They feel like they've been sucker punched, do you agree?

Thrasher: "I'm not going to comment on that."

Reporter: "Did you consult FAMU and FSU before you made that decision?

Thrasher: "Well there's been ongoing negotiations about this for many, many years."

"We believe that we don't need to separate our programs,"said FAMU President Elmira Mangum. "The quality of engineering is good and the collaborative relationship is working well," she said.

But FSU Interim President Garnett Stokes supports the split.

She says FSU will need its own engineering school to reach its goal of becoming a top 25 in the nation public university.

"Our goal is to create a win-win for Florida State and for FAMU," said Stokes. "Our relationships with that university are very important to us," she said.

"In this one action, that's been totally undermined," said Turnbull.

The split is not a done deal.

The move will be part of debate in the House-Senate conference on the budget.

Tallahassee Representative Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda says she'll likely be part of that conference and will support the split into two engineering schools.

FAMU SGA Calls Press Conference to Discuss Engineering School

Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida A&M University (FAMU) Student Government Association leaders will hold a press conference to discuss issues pertaining to the proposal to separate the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. The student leaders will be joined by members of the legislature, county commission, city officials, alumni, and other guests.

WHO: FAMU Student Government Association Leadership

WHAT: Press Conference to discuss FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

WHEN: Tuesday, April 7, 2014
9:45 A.M.

WHERE: Steps of the Old FAMU College of Law
(Side entrance of FAMU Coleman Library)

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