Board of Trustees approves new doctorate degree, welcomes two new members

FAU will offer a Ph.D. degree in transportation and environmental engineering starting Fall 2020.


Kristen Grau, Editor in Chief

Last week, FAU’s Board of Trustees, a 13-member group that makes major financial decisions for the university, added a new doctorate program and added its first female board member since 2014. 

The new board member is Elycia Morris, an Apple healthcare business executive. Morris was appointed by the Board of Governors, a group that oversees the budgets of 12 public Florida universities. Her term will end in January 2025. 

Morris was officially appointed in November 2019, but last Tuesday marked her first meeting. In 2018, Morris and her husband donated $50,000 to FAU in exchange for naming rights in the FAU High School complex.

The only other woman on the board is Mary Beth McDonald, a former Vero Beach Mayor and owner of an advertising agency whose term ends January 2021. 

The other appointment was Michael Dennis, a retired surgeon and current advisory board member of FAU’s medical school. As a member of that board, Dennis helps grow the college and its scholarships, according to his bio

The Board of Trustees also approved a Ph.D. program in transportation and environmental engineering that will be effective starting Fall 2020. However, FAU is eliminating its real estate degrees, which didn’t have any enrollment since 2009, according to Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Russell Ivy. 

Ivy said this doesn’t result in any job losses for professors who teach real estate, since classes will still be offered through a real estate minor. 

The next Board of Trustees meeting is April 21.

Kristen Grau is the editor-in-chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @_kristengrau.