FLORENCE---Francis Marion University begins its 30th year of operation this fall under new leadership and a renewed spirit of campus cooperation and collegiality.
Students will return to the campus for open registration Aug. 23-24, with new student convocation slated at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in McNair Auditorium. The first day of classes is Aug. 26. For the 1,100 students living on campus, residence halls and apartments open Aug. 22 for freshmen and Aug. 23 for upperclassmen.
Approximately 4,000 students are expected to register for classes this fall with about 650 of them new freshmen.
For the first time in several years, there will be no fee increase for students this fall, as the University's Board of Trustees held the line on tuition and fees for the coming year.
This will be the first school year under new president Fred Carter who assumed the FMU presidency July 1, replacing Lee A. Vickers who moved to North Dakota to become president of Dickinson State University. President Carter plans to teach one political science class per semester at FMU and has the same expectations of deans and several other administrators.
The president will welcome the faculty at a breakfast Aug. 19 at 8:30 a.m. in Ervin Dining Hall. School and departmental meetings with faculty are scheduled later in the day. Orientation for 17 new faculty members is scheduled Aug. 20.
The first week of school also marks President Carter’s formal inauguration as the fourth president of FMU. The festivities begin on Aug. 25 with a picnic for students, faculty and alumni from 6 to 8 p.m. in the courtyard area between the Smith Center and the McNair Science Building. The formal inauguration ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, in Smith University Center gymnasium. Dignitaries from national and state governments and from several universities are expected to attend.
Since his appointment, the new president has worked to build relationships with the faculty and staff to chart future direction of the institution. Carter has encouraged cooperation and team-building to better serve students. The faculty leadership has been working with the president on a number of issues, including shared governance.
Carter has also begun an effort to make the university's mission better known to a number of state officials by having them visit the university. Over the last several weeks, Gov. Jim Hodges, Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal and State Treasurer Grady Patterson have visited the campus. State Senate President Pro Tempore John W. Drummond will visit in early August.
Summer orientation sessions were held for most new students to register for classes and to begin getting acclimated to university life.
Walk-in registration for students who haven’t pre-registered is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, and Tuesday, Aug. 24. Those students should first report to the Stokes Administration Building.
Continuing students with questions about registration should call the Registrar’s Office at 843-661-1175. Others wanting to enroll for fall classes should call the Admissions Office at 661-1231 or toll free 1-800-368-7551 for those outside the Florence area.