FDU Officials Talking Honors College

By Elizabeth White

News Editor

There might be an Honors College.

Or not.

The first public mention of the creation of an Honors College at FDU came on March 3 at the FDU Honors Admissions Luncheon in the Rutherford Room of the SUB.

“I am very encouraged with the prospect of an Honors College,” Metro Provost Bob Vodde said. “It will undoubtedly serve to attract and challenge students that are, among many things, interested in research.”

In an email to The Equinox, Dr. Patricia Warunek, director of the University Honors Program, said that Provost Vodde’s comments to establish an Honors College were, “the first official mention, that I heard, of the introduction of an Honors College specifically at FDU.”

The Equinox reached out to Associate Vice President of Information Angelo Carfagna for more information. Carfagna contacted University Provost Gillian Small.

“Dr. Small said she has discussed the possibility of expanding the existing honors programs with enhanced programs to attract more high achieving students to the University,” Carfagna said in an email response to our inquiry. “However, no specific proposals have been presented and no plans have been put forth.”

Warunek confirmed in her email to The Equinox that she had attended a meeting in which Dr. Small discussed the concept.

“At a meeting early in the semester with the Admissions Department, Provost Small mentioned the advantages of an Honors College in recruiting high caliber students to a university.” Dr. Warunek said. “No details specific to FDU were discussed. Prior to this meeting I assembled several articles about the Pros and Cons of Honors P r o g r a m s / C o l l e g e s and shared them at the meeting.”

Both Vodde and Warunek said that the project was Small’s, and that she should be contacted for more information.

“There are no plans for an Honors College,” Small told The Equinox in an interview. “We are not planning an honors college at FDU in the near future. That might be a goal for us down the road but certainly not in the foreseeable future.

“What I said was that I would like to increase our programming to attract high achieving students to the university,” Small said. “I think most people we have spoken with think it’s a great idea to enhance these offerings.”

Small said that some people might have heard her talking about possible honors programming and assumed it was definitely happening, but she insisted that this was not the case and that it just “might be considered down the road.”

“We have honors programs on each of our campuses,” Small said in her interview with The Equinox. “To encourage those, I am working with a group of faculty to create additional programming that would be specifically to attract high-achieving students. We are hoping to roll that out maybe Fall 2018, if we can get it done, but it’s not clear yet.”

Small said there might be potential for an Honors College in four or five years.

“The words ‘Honors College’ came up as something that some people interpreted as we are going to do it,” Small said. “I think he [Vodde] was just excited about the idea of increased programming.”

For Small, it came down to a matter of interpretation.

“Words sometimes get taken out of context,” she said.