Three months after President Fred Gainous took the helm at the university, changes are omnipresent.
But some on campus still have mixed opinions about the progress of the university under the former student-turned-administrator.
The closing of Gamble Street from Wahnish Way to Orr Drive, the entrance of the parking lots at Tucker Hall and the School of Business and Industry, caused a lot of confusion on campus.
When cornered for an answer at the monthly faculty meeting in September, Gainous said it was the beginning of his plans to make the campus more “pedestrian-friendly.”
“Other intersections will be closed off as well,” he mentioned during that meeting.
Stephanie Coleman, 19, a sophomore fashion design student from Jacksonville, said more needs to be done to make sure students are getting proper financial assistance.
She remembers receiving a letter that said her fees had not been paid and she had to get reinstated to attend classes.
“They gave us until the end of the week to pay,” she said.
Gainous said during the first faculty meeting of the semester, he was being strict with students who had not paid their fees and reinstatement cases would be done on a “case by case” basis.
Coleman said administrators should realize many students are paying for anything financial aid does not cover, out of their own pockets.
“I’m trying to get food stamps,” she said.
Robert Williams, 21, a senior English student from Tallahassee, said his final year on campus has been a lot brighter than the previous three. He said he got his net check a few days after they were disbursed and has not had a problem with parking.
“This has been the best year,” Williams said.
Gainous has also put a lot of emphasis on the university’s traditions and history.
“He’s really done a lot to reenergize the desire to retain the links to tradition,” said Janet Guyden, the interim dean of the College of Education.
Gainous has stressed the university remembering the importance of many traditions that have phased out of the light. His re-incorporation of the Florida Song at the end of home football games and the recent Founder’s Day events have helped many like Guyden realize how far the school has come since its inception in 1887.
“It’s good to use those things in our past as a stepping stone to the future,” Guyden said.
Professor Adeline Evans said she is still waiting to hear the statistics on enrollment at the university.
“We usually have those by now,” Evans said.
She said she understands that not everything will run smoothly when you have a new guy at the top.
“A person has to be acclimated,” Evans said. “He’s coming from a completely different system. He doesn’t know a lot of the key players.”
She said the enthusiasm Gainous has displayed reminds her of former President Frederick Humphries, who started his tenure in 1985. He announced his resignation in February 2001.
“His enthusiasm was so great,” she said of Humphries, who she said led the university during one of the greatest eras of her tenure.
Her advice to Gainous would be to incorporate every part of the FAMU family.
“That’s what the word university means ‘one,’ she said.