In 1982 the Florida A&M University and Florida State University College of Engineering was established and enrolled its first class of 35 students. The College of Engineering has the stated goal “to attract and graduate a greater number of minorities and women in professional engineering, engineering teaching and research.”
This spring the Florida legislature considered a proposal to split the College of Engineering with each university maintaining its own programs. Students protested the plan saying that separate institutions will undoubtedly lead to unequal funding and quality of education at historically Black Florida A&M University. Elmira Mangum, president of Florida A&M University, even questioned whether her university would be able to continue its own engineering program given current state funding levels.
But the legislature passed the buck. They ordered that a study be conducted to analyze whether a split would make sense “with the goal of achieving world-class engineering education opportunities for students in both universities.” The study is expected to be completed by January and the legislature directed the Florida Board of Governors to decide the issue by March 2015 after considering the report.