Gainous: ‘We’ll have to rethink our priorities’

Gov. Jeb Bush’s proposed budget cuts for the 2003-2004 school year will have President Fred Gainous searching out money to fund ongoing projects, Gainous told faculty Tuesday.

Though Bush’s proposed budget will slice $6 million out of FAMU’s budget, Gainous told those in attendance at the President’s Faculty Meeting Tuesday that the financial woes would make a positive difference on campus.

“I think to have a different budget will give us an opportunity to reevaluate ourselves,” Gainous said in his State of the University Address.

“It is more of an opportunity to be creative than it is for us to mourn.”

Gainous told the hundreds of faculty members who filled Lee Hall that times will be harder for FAMU next year, but it will force FAMU to be more money efficient and end wasteful spending.

He said Bush has done a good job with his proposed budget, citing the $7 million allotted to the university to upgrade electrical work and get the law school and journalism building projects underway.

Gainous, however, said the cuts will affect the number of available resources and student enrollment may decrease if tuition increases.

“The governor’s budget will mean we’ll have to rethink our priorities,” Gainous said. “We must maintain our recruitment and retainment priorities,” Gainous said.

Gainous said money would have to come from other sources to provide students with a quality education, like Capital Campaign, in which more than $250 million to “fund development, recruitment and retention of faculty…(and) to endow scholarships for students.”

Gainous also announced status of the vice presidential search, as well as the need to fill the shoes of the “fifty plus individuals who will retire from the institution.”

He told faculty he finally found a candidate for the provost position, only to find out that the candidate was offered perks to stay where he is, including a $225,000–which FAMU could not provide.

Gainous said he is in negotiations with the vice presidential candidate for fiscal affairs and should announce the new vice president Friday.

Other positions that have been filled include Tricia Green, vice president for student affairs; Phyllis Gray, vice president of research; John Middleton, dean of education; and Jim Jones, executive of director of alumni affairs.

Gainous said he would also fill vacancies in the College of Arts & Sciences, general studies, School of Business and Industry, and College of Nursing.

Tanya Caldwell can be reached at