The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees took action Friday (March 1) to address the region’s growing need for qualified industrial engineers.
During its quarterly meeting, the board approved a resolution to establish the industrial engineering degree program to begin Jan. 1, 2014. FMU is awaiting final approval of the program from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education.
“We are proud to move forward with this new degree in industrial engineering. As with the nursing, nurse practitioner and nurse educator programs, this initiative has been developed in response to the workforce needs of the region and the state,” said FMU President Dr. Fred Carter. “We think that it will be very, very successful.”
FMU recently received a $150,000 gift from Santee Cooper as part of the electric utility’s support of the university’s forthcoming industrial engineering degree program for which FMU will partner with Florence-Darlington Technical College.
Santee Cooper has provided $50,000 to fund the instructional costs of the program, said Libby Cooper, interim director of the FMU Foundation. The balance of $100,000 will be used to establish the Santee Cooper Endowed Scholarship Fund for students enrolled in the new program.
“I have nothing but praise for Lonnie Carter and the board of Santee Cooper. This institution has been a strong proponent for education in South Carolina for decades,” said Carter. “It’s not surprising that the very first gift we get in support of this new program comes from our friends at Santee Cooper.”
In other business, the board voted to name Loop Road at Griffin Athletic Complex for former faculty member and Patriots fan Dr. Harlan Hawkins. He was an original faculty member who served as a professor of geography until he retired in the summer of 1995. From 1970 until today, he has been a most avid supporter of Patriot athletics, attending nearly all the games.
In 1999, the Dr. Harlan Hawkins Women’s Basketball Scholarship was established.