FIU trustees approve smoke-free campuses

MIAMI – The Florida International University Board of Trustees approved a regulation today that will make the university smoke and tobacco-free, effective January 2011.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products will be prohibited on all university-owned properties, including Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Biscayne Bay Campus, Engineering Campus, recreational facilities, residential facilities, and parking lots and garages. Tobacco use in vehicles that are on FIU-owned properties also will be prohibited.

“This regulation is truly a reflection of our commitment to environment and health,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Rosa Jones. “The smoke and tobacco-free initiative will help us build a healthier university.”

Jones noted that enforcement of the regulation should come after a six to eight-month period of giving support to students, faculty and staff, that will incorporate smoking cessation services and resources.

With the vote, FIU becomes the second public university in the state to implement a tobacco-free initiative. University of Florida enacted such a policy earlier this year.

In approving the regulation, FIU joins a growing national trend. There are now at least 420 universities around the country with smoke-free campuses, including residential housing where it exists, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

At the same meeting, trustees unanimously gave FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg a “superior” rating during his annual evaluation. This performance rating indicates that the president exceeds performance expectations on a consistent and uniform basis in areas of responsibility, said Trustee Cesar Alvarez, chairman of the BOT Personnel Committee that was in charge of the president’s evaluation.

Alvarez said that after reviewing the president’s accomplishments, the committee recommended the superior rating, which is the highest possible rating.

Rosenberg’s accomplishments included engaging the community through programs such as a partnership with Miami-Dade Public Schools, increasing financial aid awarded to students, increasing the number of students participating in internships, and obtaining $4.6 million in funding for the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

“His leadership style: he’s a man who listens, engages, encourages, motivates and rewards,” Alvarez said.

Rosenberg called working at FIU “a blessing.”

“I feel blessed to lead FIU with a fantastic team,” he said.

Rosenberg also presented to the BOT the University’s Academic Year 2010-11 goals.

Media Contact:  Madeline Baró at 305-348-2234.

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