With the on-campus visits and public interviews of FAMU’s five presidential finalists drawing closer, members of the presidential search advisory committee still have not met.
A scheduled Nov. 12 meeting at the Grand Ballroom was rescheduled to Nov. 19.
The committee is composed of 70 people drawn from a wide range of constituencies including faculty, administrators, staff, students, community members and athletic boosters.
It was devised by the Board of Trustees to provide another vessel for constructive input.
At the Oct. 31 town hall meeting, Trustees chairman Art Collins acknowledged the immense size of the advisory committee, but assured doubters that it would provide “maximum input.”
Some members of the committee have expressed confusion about when the committee will meet and how seriously its input will be considered.
Professor Bill Tucker, a vocal critic of the presidential search process, had previously called the search advisory committee a “name”, saying it didn’t exist.
Tucker said that Board of Trustee search committee will purportedly meet with presidential candidates on the Nov. 20, the day after the search advisory committee’s rescheduled meeting.
“The board’s search committee will be given 24 hours to respond to the advisory committee’s input. That’s hardly sufficient,” Tucker said.
Tucker also said that the Board of Trustees presidential search committee chairman William Jennings had agreed to include a faculty member in the committee’s deliberations. The chosen faculty member would not have a vote within the six member committee.
The number of known candidates increased by two last week.
Joining the nine previously announced applicants were Robert R. Jennings and Eucharia Nnadi, vice president of academic affairs at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a former full professor in FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In an interview before the unveiling of the new Jake Gaither statue, Collins divided the applicants into three groups: those who are self-nominated, persons nominated by a third party, who Collins said may not realize they’ve been nominated, and interested parties that are waiting to see how the process plays out.
Collins also indicated he felt the number of applicants is higher than the list currently circulating.
“I believe that number is somewhere between 10 and 100,” Collins said.
Carrie Gavin of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs said that while there have been some applicants expressing interest in the presidential opening, any additional applications would have been sent directly to Heidrick and Struggles, the search firm assisting in the selection.
Calls to Heidrick and Struggles’ offices were not returned.