FAU PROFILE: Community Engagement

In 2003, the Scripps Research Institute announced its plans to locate a new center in South Florida. By 2006, researchers from Scripps Florida were working with FAU faculty on joint projects focused on the discovery of new drugs to treat conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer. The trend toward research partnerships for FAU began in the 1990s and has strengthened the University’s involvement with outside organizations, attracting new streams of funding to support its activities, particularly in the research arena. FAU’s vast research partnerships have included the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the North Broward Hospital District, the Smithsonian Marine Station, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, and more recently, the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and Germany’s renowned Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. The Max Planck Florida Institute is currently developing plans for the groundbreaking of its 100,000-square-foot building on FAU’s Jupiter campus in early 2010. The building will include 10,000 square feet of research space for the use of FAU faculty and students.

FAU houses more than 40 institutes and centers established to carry out research, service and instructional activities that supplement and extend the University’s programs. FAU’s state centers and institutes typically have a state-wide mission, include two or more state universities, have been approved by the Florida Board of Governors and have an advisory board with state-wide representation. FAU’s University centers and institutes follow the same protocols as state centers but do not necessarily carry out a state-wide mission and are self-supporting.

The University’s Lifelong Learning Society supports more than 19,500 lifelong learners who register annually for 35,000 non-credit classes on FAU campuses. These students — primarily men and women of retirement age — attend classes in Boca Raton, Jupiter and the Treasure Coast. Classes are offered during the fall, winter and spring terms.

The University’s Medical Education Program in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science admitted the first group of four-year medical students in 2007, through a unique public/private partnership with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Last month, 31 students were the first to complete all four years of medical school at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine at FAU’s Medical Regional Campus in Boca Raton, and they have begun clinical rotations at local hospitals. Enrollment is expected to reach 256 students by 2011.

FAU is one of four universities in Florida authorized to operate developmental research schools. The A.D. Henderson University School serves students in grades K-8, and FAU High School serves high school-aged students. The Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development is a lab school for children from birth to five years of age. It is affiliated with the College of Education’s Toppel Family Early Childhood Education Institute at FAU. The University also oversees the Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition, in cooperation with the St. Lucie County School Board. These schools are administered through the College of Education and serve as “lab schools” for the latest in educational research for FAU students and faculty.

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