Black News Execs Question Florida University Classification Plan

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.

Editors and publishers of Black newspapersfrom across the state questioned University of Florida SystemChancellor Adam Herbert about a proposal that would group FloridaA&M University with the state’s three smallest campuses under theheading “Comprehensive Universities.”

The media executives would prefer that the historically Blackschool be put into one of two other categories for research-orienteduniversities.

“All of this comes at a time when FAMU is just flourishing andgrowing and doing great things, and doing it without the board ofregents necessarily having set out some plan for it to accomplishthat,” said Ed James of The Bulletin in Sarasota.

Herbert insisted, during an hour-long conference call, that theplan would help rather than hinder FAMU, but the news executives wereskeptical and questioned whether Herbert, himself Black, understood theschool’s past struggles.

“It is impossible for any African American of my age who has livedthrough what we went through in the South to not understand thesethings,” responded Herbert, who said he wants FAMU’s enrollment to growfrom its present 11,000 students to 18,000, including 3,000 graduatestudents.

The regents’ master plan includes twenty-four new degree programsfor FAMU, Herbert said. He also said that he has proposed $18 millionin capital outlay spending, the most in FAMU’s history.

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