Ramon Alexander is a FAMU alum and former student government president.
Dear Rattler Nation,
The following correspondence is written to provide significant clarity in regards to funding secured for Florida A&M University (FAMU) during the 2018 Legislative Session. Furthermore, I will provide detailed insight in regards to major legislation passed this session that are huge accomplishments and will ultimately have a direct long term impact on FAMU.
Funding Secured for FAMU during the 2018 Legislative Session:
- General Revenue Base Funding Secured for Florida A&M University:
$60, 171, 856.00 (Million)
- New Unrestricted Recurring Operational Support Funding Secured for Florida A&M University: $6,000,000.00 (Million) *Note: The fact that this additional 6 Million in funding is “recurring” is a major accomplishment for the FAMU Legislative Delegation.
- New Funding Secured for Florida A&M University World Class Faculty Initiative & the Graduate Program of Excellence:
- Recurring Funding Secured for the Florida A&M University Crestview Education Center: $1,500,000 (Million)
Total Funding Secured for Florida A&M University during the 2018 Legislative Session: $72,204,865.00 (Million)
Major Legislation and Initiatives Achieved during the 2018 Legislative Session:
- A total of $69, 762.640 (Million) secured for Need Based Aid Funding (*Note: Financial Aid). The aforementioned amount is 10.3 Million dollars more secured in Financial Aid funds then the previous Legislative Session!!! Currently over 85 percent of FAMU Students receive some form of Financial Aid assistance each semester.
- During the 2018 Legislative Session exactly 3,193 Bills were filed/introduced between the Florida House & Florida Senate. Of these 3,193 pieces of legislation, only 60 Bills passed both the House & Senate to be sent to the Governor to become the official law of Florida. One of the 60 Bills passed is a huge win for Florida A&M University! The passage of CS/HB 375 changes current state law which will now authorize Florida A&M University to participate in the HBCU Federal Capital Finance Program. This critical piece of legislation will enable FAMU to have access to major guaranteed funding for new building improvements and new dormitories on campus.
- The Florida Legislature also passed a comprehensive Higher Education Policy Bill this session which included extremely important language to direct the Board of Governors (BOG) to conduct a formal study on the current very flawed Performance Based Funding Model for the State University System. The current Performance Based Funding Model; which includes an outlandish BOG Bottom Three Policy is in my opinion the biggest threat towards FAMU’s future existence. To give one quick example; over 720 Million Dollars have been allocated in Performance Based Funding since 2014. Florida A&M University has received only 17 Million of the total 720 Million. The current system is clearly designed for FAMU to fail.
There are many more accomplishments that can be noted from the 2018 Legislative Session that are true positives for FAMU. Because of our collective efforts, critical momentum has been made in regards to making wholesale changes to the funding models for the entire State University System. During 2018 session for the first time in years, more funding was made available for Universities not in the Preeminent and Emerging Preeminent Category. In fact the Emerging Preeminent Category was not funded at all and those funds have now been made available to the other eight (
State Universities. This means that if Florida A&M University is successful in receiving Performance Based Funding this year, FAMU will receive an additional $13,555,200 (Million) this fiscal year. This is a big deal!
The Legislative Process and how money is appropriated in the State of Florida have a myriad of multifaceted and complex dynamics. For the sake of long term strategy, I will not publicly comment on why Florida A&M University did not receive additional funding this year for the CASS Building. For the record last year we did receive an additional 4.5 Million for the CASS Building that was not on the Board of Governors priority list. I am confident under the now permanent leadership of Dr. Larry Robinson that FAMU will make significant progress over the next year with the already 16 million dollars allocated since 2014 towards the CASS Building Project.
Representative Ramon Alexander
Florida House of Representatives
House District 8