Florida Memorial University: Working the Plan and Continuing the Promise
By Ceeon Smith
Under the leadership and vision of President, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis and the talented and dedicated Florida Memorial University (FMU) faculty and staff, FMU continues to reap the successes of working and implementing the University’s strategic five-year plan. For example, in alignment with the plan goal to increase enrollment, FMU welcomed its largest Freshman class in six years at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. The University credits the increase to innovative and customer-service based recruitment strategies, that included early summer orientation sessions for students and parents to begin testing, curriculum advising and fiscal clearance.
The academic year also marked the opening of the Athletic Arena and Wellness Center. The facility features world-class weight rooms, smart lecture halls, a dance studio and the eagerly anticipated gym,means that“home games”are backin Lion Country!
Continuing to expand the infrastructure and improve the quality of campus life for students, this summer, the Miami Gardens City Council approved a $2 million allocation for the construction of a new FMU soccer complex and track field.
In the areas of academic and research development, is the ongoing collaborative effort for the Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) grant, led by the Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital. This faculty-led effort is focused on designing innovative curriculum programs and resources that create sustainable and relevant careerpathways for FMU students.
A program that has a history of success at FMU is the Department of Aviation & Safety. FMU students not only have the opportunity to academically“soar,”but theycan literally “fly” with a degree in Aviation Management or Aviation Science-fully accredited programs. Students have course offerings in Homeland Security, Cybersecurityand Disaster Recovery. A 1986 FMU graduate of this program, and National Black College Hall of Fame Alumni 2016 inductee, Norma Ely-Jones is the first African American woman to hold the position ofAir Traffic Manager for Andrews Air Force Base!
In the community, FMU remains true to its legacy of addressing social justice and inequality issues. FMU faculty and students in the Law and Government program, in concert with the Trayvon Martin Foundation, work diligently to create comprehensive strategies to address the social justice issues of our day. One result is the Criminal Justice Lecture Series that hosts provocative and thoughtful community discussions featuring local and national leaders such as Dr. Charles Ogletree, Mr. Desmond Meade, the Mothers of Movement and the Dream Defenders.
According to Dr. Artis, to work the plan and continue the promise means to preserve the 137-year legacy of FMU and to evolve to meet the demands of society’s changing times. Dr. Artis states, “We face an opportunity and an imperative both to embrace thoughtful change and to affirm our core values in ways that fulfill this extraordinary University’s enduring promise to its students.”