FMU President's annual address to the faculty gives shape to the new academic year
Francis Marion University President Dr. Fred Carter told a group of some 225 FMU faculty assembled for the school’s annual faculty breakfast that he brags about the school’s faculty too much, but he says he just can’t help himself.
“I boast about your (the faculty’s) accomplishments all over the state,” says Carter during his remarks in FMU’s Ervin Dining Hall. “I know that’s led to some grumbling, ‘here comes Carter again, bet he’s going to brag on his faculty,’ which is probably marginally better than ‘here comes Carter again begging for money.’ Of course, our most generous donors have discovered that these two messages are related. That’s why they’re our most generous donors.”
Carter called the work of the FMU faculty “a source of immense pride.”
In Carter’s remarks, which serve as a keynote address for each academic year, he, updated the faculty on the university’s various expansion plans, both physically and programmatically, and noted a new effort to improve state funding for higher education.
Carter also told faculty members that over the next three years he wanted to increase amount of sabbatical time available to FMU faculty. Carter he is looking to ramp up the number of available sabbaticals from the current two per semester and four per year, to five sabbaticals per semester, and 10 per year, by 2017.
“Sabbaticals are a great investment for a university,” says Carter. “They revitalize faculty teaching and research.”
Carter also told the faculty that progress on FMU’s new Health Sciences Center in downtown Florence was on track. He said he expects to have drawings available for the faculty and others to view by early fall.
Carter said that FMU has done well raising private funds and in giving South Carolina taxpayers a good return on the public monies invested at the university. But he also said he’s hopeful that a new initiative can help improve state funding for higher ed. Carter said the presidents of several universities, FMU included, are beginning a campaign to better tell the story of the public university’s contributions to the state in hopes of persuading the governor and legislature to make a great investment in public higher education.
Francis Marion University began its 45th university when evening classes for the fall term began on Monday, Aug. 18. A full schedule of classes begins on Tuesday, Aug. 19.