Breaking News - FSU to get control of the College of Engineering

<p>Infuriated over revelations about missing computers, unpaid employees and lax financial management, state lawmakers are pushing to strip Florida A&M University of financial oversight over the engineering college it jointly runs with Florida State University.</p>

<p>House and Senate leadership, who OK'd the shift of $10.4 million to run the school from FAMU's budget to FSU in 2007-08 spending plans released this week, said they could no longer trust the historically black university's current administration to oversee taxpayer dollars.</p>

<p>"It's a done deal," former Senate President Jim King of Jacksonville said Thursday.</p>

<p>Leadership in both the House and Senate have agreed to the change, but it will not be official until the state budget is passed.</p>

<p>The move will not affect classes, the physical location of the school, or its professors, most of whom are FSU faculty, lawmakers said.</p>

<p>"We owe it to the students to make sure the engineering school is protected in every way possible," said Sen. Evelyn Lynn, an Ormond Beach Republican who oversees the Senate's higher education budget.</p>

<p>Lynn has also earmarked $100,000 in the Senate's spending plan to launch an outside audit of the university.</p>

<p>Earlier this month, lawmakers called for a criminal investigation of sloppy accounting and management procedures at FAMU exposed in a recent state audit.</p>

<p>The State University System Board of Governors has formed a special task force to examine FAMU's finances in response to a scathing preliminary that said transactions of more than $39 million -- about one-tenth of FAMU's budget -- were handled without approval by the university board of trustees.</p>

<p>FAMU has been the fiscal agent for the engineering school for a decade, and FSU President T.K. Wetherell said the school's current students wouldn't notice the difference.</p>

<p>"We're just going to manage the money. The rest of it stays right where it is," he said at a Board of Governor's meeting in Gainesville.</p>

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