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FAMU And FSU Give Updates On Audits, Digital Domain

Florida State and Florida A&M Universities went before the state university system’s governing board Wednesday to give updates on their ongoing issues.

FAMU has been in the hot seat lately for incomplete audits and hazing investigations. The Board of Governors heard a report from auditors who say FAMU should put tighter controls on the handling of parking fees and athletics revenues in place. But in all, Board of Governor’s Chairman Dean Colson says he’s impressed with the job being done by the school’s interim President Larry Robinson:

They’re putting in a lot of time, and I’m impressed by President Robinson, his commitment to getting this done. I think…in six months, they’ll come back and say what we suggested has been completed so we can get a report back that provides us with the comfort level we all feel.”  

Former FAMU President James Ammons resigned in the wake of the hazing death of a band drum major, incomplete audits and low graduation rates.

Meanwhile, Florida State is weathering the fallout of its failed partnership with the media company, Digital Domain. The company partnered with FSU and managed to secure a $20 million incentive deal from the state. Digital Domain went bankrupt and laid off the staff that was supposed to be teaching at its West Palm Beach location which houses FSU’s animation program. But Board of Governor’s members say they still have lots of questions:

“First of all I want to know why you moved down…in an area where, at FAU, they also have a good program?”  said Board member Patricia Frost.

When it was first announce a few years ago, the FSU-Digital Domain partnership angered officials at Florida Atlantic University which runs a similar program in the same area. FSU’s program was never approved by the Board of Governors or FSU’s own trustees. Students in the program also paid higher tuition rates. FSU President Eric Barron says the university will honor its obligations to those students, but the future of the program is still up in the air. 

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter @HatterLynn

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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