Leave the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering out of the FSU Presidential controversy

If you have a problem with the way the FSU presidential search is being conducted, fine.  Make your points, and make them civilly.

But leave John Thrasher’s attempt to take a close look at the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering out of it.

During his short interview on Tuesday, Senator Thrasher said that several FSU presidents had expressed concerns about the performance of the joint school and argued that this justified a careful reexamination.

As a physics professor, I’d rather see some numbers.  My regular readers have seen these numbers and read this argument before, but here is the stark truth direct from the Florida Board of Governors interactive university database.



In 2003-2004, the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering awarded 105 bachelors’ degrees to African-American students.  That was 44% of the State University System total.

In 2012-2013, the school graduated only 43 black bachelor-level engineers.  Not only was that a 59% decline from 2003-2004, but it was also only 17% of the SUS total.

If the primary goal of the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering is to graduate black engineers, then there is something terribly wrong.  Any responsible policy-maker would take a careful look at what is happening there.

So if you want to object to Senator Thrasher’s candidacy for the FSU Presidency, have at it.

But leave the legislative review of the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering out of it.

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