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FIU Board of Trustees approves campus repopulation plan, extends President Mark B. Rosenberg’s contract, elects new leadership

FIU Board of Trustees approves campus repopulation plan, extends President Mark B. Rosenberg’s contract, elects new leadership

June 16, 2020 at 6:00pm

The FIU Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the university’s plan for resuming in-person classes and on-campus operations in the fall.
The FIU Repopulating Task Force, made up of university administrators, faculty, staff, medical experts and emergency management professionals created a plan named Panthers Protecting Panthers for reopening FIU campuses in the fall. The approach incorporates federal, state and local guidelines in addition to the framework provided by the Florida Board of Governors. The plan will be presented at a BOG meeting on June 23.
The FIU plan calls for a combination of in-person, online, remote and hybrid classes and is heavily dependent on every member of the university community acting responsibly and protecting each other. The Panthers Protecting Panthers plan has several important components:
  • All students, faculty and staff will fill out a questionnaire on an app FIU has developed (P3) at the beginning of each day on campus. The app will be used as a tool to determine whether the person has been exposed to COVID-19.
  • FIU requires everyone to wear face coverings while on campus and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from another person, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
  • Frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizers is encouraged via signs and other reminders.
  • Common areas and other high-touch areas will be cleaned more frequently, according to CDC and/or state or local guidelines.
  • On-campus work schedules and work spaces will be adjusted to maximize physical distancing.
  • Students will find reconfigured classrooms and adjusted class schedules and course delivery methods.
Students will be allowed to return to residence halls in the fall, with a structured move-in process, changes to staff interactions and modified restrictions of use of shared common spaces. A block of 65 independent rooms (University Apartments) will remain unoccupied this fall and will be used as isolation rooms for residential students who test positive for COVID-19.
Special guidelines are in place and will continue to be reviewed for extracurricular activities, events and athletics.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the FIU Board of Trustees also voted to extend President Rosenberg’s contract.
The board unanimously approved a one-year extension to Rosenberg’s contract following a “superior” performance rating for Rosenberg’s accomplishments and leadership during the 2018-2019 academic year that was determined at a previous meeting. The Florida Board of Governors, which is expected to consider the contract for approval at its July meeting, limits contract extensions for sitting university presidents to one year. The extension runs through 2022.
“President Rosenberg’s leadership has been extraordinary, and we are proud to extend his contract for another year,” said FIU Board of Trustees Chairwoman Claudia Puig. “As we navigate challenging times and a new normal, we need his continued commitment and experience on behalf of our university and our community.”
The BOT initiated first discussions on the university’s Equity Action Initiative to enhance equality, dignity, inclusion and belonging at FIU. The initiative will recommend permanent reforms with the goal of making the community and the university a better place.
In addition, Chairwoman Puig, who has served on the board since 2003, finished four years as chair. Trustee Dean C. Colson was unanimously elected for a two-year term as chair of the FIU Board of Trustees; Trustee Rogelio Tovar was unanimously elected vice chair.  
“Over the past decade at some undefined moment FIU became the engine that is driving South Florida,” said newly elected Chair Colson. “I’m so proud to be associated with FIU. FIU is a difference-maker, it gives hope, it allows dreams to come true. No institution is more deserving of our time and treasure.”