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FSU College of Medicine recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine

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Dean Don Weidner, (850) 644-3071;
Christi N. Morgan, (850) 644-2788;
Doug Carlson, (850) 645-1255;

By Jill Elish
Sept. 8, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Hispanic Business magazine has ranked Florida State University’s College of Law the fifth best law school in the nation for Hispanics, while also giving a nod to the FSU College of Medicine. The rankings appear in the magazine’s September issue.

This is the fifth year in a row that the law school has been named in the Top 10 and the highest ranking ever for Florida State Law. The College of Medicine ranked 11th among the nation’s medical schools.

“We’re very pleased that Hispanic Business magazine has recognized our colleges of law and medicine for being at the forefront of recruiting and retaining Hispanic students and offering them a high quality education,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Lawrence G. Abele. “The success of these programs reflects the university’s commitment to excellence and dedication to encouraging a diverse community where all of our students can thrive.”

The magazine surveyed law schools accredited by the American Bar Association and based its ranking on a variety of factors, including the percentage of full-time Hispanic faculty, services for Hispanic students, Hispanic recruitment efforts and retention rates, the percentage of Hispanic students enrolled, and quality of education and reputational ranking as reflected in U.S. News & World Report.

“Although other law schools have more Hispanic students than Florida State, a significant Hispanic presence in the faculty and administration has helped us to climb in the Hispanic Business rankings,” said Law Dean Don Weidner. “Our excellent academic reputation and dedication to the success of students from all backgrounds elevates us above other law schools.”

Florida State Law’s Summer for Undergraduates Program is one example of an academic program offered to Hispanic students and others historically underrepresented in the legal profession. Students selected to participate receive scholarships to attend the month-long, annual program, which familiarizes students with the American legal system and introduces them to minority and Hispanic role models in the legal profession.

Hispanics made up 7 percent of the law school’s student enrollment and received 20 of the 233 law degrees (9 percent) awarded to the Class of 2007. Ten percent of the full-time faculty was Hispanic.

At the College of Medicine, Hispanics made up 9 percent of the college’s student body and earned 7 of the 48 medical degrees (15 percent) awarded in 2007. Seven percent of the college’s full-time faculty was Hispanic.

“Having a student body that reflects Florida’s cultural diversity is an important part of achieving our mission,’’ said Dr. John P. Fogarty, dean of the College of Medicine. “Sixteen percent of our current first-year students are of Hispanic heritage, reflecting our effort to produce physicians who will serve their communities and help to meet the state’s health care needs.’’

Part of the college’s mission is to develop doctors who are responsive to community needs, especially through service to elder, rural, minority and underserved populations. All of the college’s students take courses in cross-cultural medicine and medical Spanish and have opportunities to actively participate in research focused on culturally appropriate delivery of health care.