By MARY JANE SAUNDERS
Florida Atlantic University has proposed several options that are being considered to meet a $24 million cut to the university’s state funding for 2012-13. I want to offer assurance that FAU is committed to continuing its longtime relationship with the communities of the Treasure Coast as a partner in higher education, research innovation and civic engagement.
All FAU degree programs will continue to be offered to Treasure Coast students; however, the university’s administrative services at the Port St. Lucie campus, which is jointly operated by FAU and Indian River State College, will be suspended. The 247 FAU students who were enrolled on this campus last semester will still be able to access the full FAU curriculum by attending classes at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, at the Jupiter and Boca Raton campuses, and via e-learning courses. They will have the assistance of dedicated and knowledgeable advisors, who will keep them on track toward graduation.
The university has recently invested more than $44 million in improvements to the education and research facilities at FAU Harbor Branch, which ranks as one of the world’s foremost centers of marine-related studies. The planned expansion of academic programs there will produce great opportunities for students while enhancing research and community outreach activities. We will continue to work with our partners at Indian River State College to serve the undergraduate educational needs of the Treasure Coast as research and educational initiatives increase at FAU Harbor Branch.
Florida Atlantic University’s commitment to serving the Treasure Coast dates back to the 1970s, and we take great pride in the fact that thousands of Treasure Coast students have been able to pursue their higher education goals at FAU. That commitment has not wavered. The university’s mission on the Treasure Coast remains the same: to offer educational opportunity to students, to pursue research that will bring economic benefits to the region and to provide meaningful community service.
Mary Jane Saunders is president of Florida Atlantic University.