There was no huge sigh of relief or contempt from the room when the judgment came.
The members of the FAMU Board of Trustees sat with a look of finality.
And everyone else rushed the backdoors of the Grand Ballroom, piling outside after the trustees voted to terminate President Fred Gainous’ contract effective Jan. 1, 2005.
After standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowd of alumni, students and faculty for two hours, my main objective was to get to the ladies’ restroom. There, I heard some interesting comments coming from the stall next to mine.
“And you know what?,” a lady said. “Gainous should have never been appointed president in the first place. That man didn’t have the experience to run a school like FAMU. He was just a chancellor of a community college system in Alabama.” Doesn’t hindsight always seem like 20/20?
But while those remarks are neither here nor there in light of the present, should that not indicate something about our Board of Trustees?
If Gainous is derelict in his duties to this University, then one must admit with reason that the Board of Trustees is guilty of the same transgression when they brought him on board.
However, a few trustees recognized this blunder. And when they did, they were challenged by the ire of one particular white trustee.
Trustee Barney Bishop has made known his zealous support of President Gainous and has taken measures to ensure that Gainous keeps his seat. In addition, he also declared during Tuesday’s meeting that while he was not an alumnus of FAMU he still knew what was best for our institution. Does he really?
Here we have FAMU sitting on the verge of being in shambles and yet he sees nothing wrong enough to inflict punitive actions upon the head director of the current administration?
Is he that blind?
His attitude regarding the current ills on this campus is too hunky-dory for me.
Instead of seeing a man who has students’ best interests at heart, I see someone who is actively involved in bringing our school to its knees. Therefore, the question of what he is doing on FAMU’s BOT is a question that must be posed.
Bishop is a man who petitioned BOT Chairman James Corbin to limit remarks by the president of the National Alumni Association during Tuesday’s meeting to a mere three minutes.
NAA President Alvin Bryant was scheduled to speak at length about the political and economic health of FAMU as well as the alumni’s stance on a change in leadership.
The gall of anyone to restrict the speaking time of an alumni president at any university is deplorable.
To know what is best for someone else takes willingness and an aptitude to listen.
So, in addition to being deaf and blind, I would be remiss in not applying the second d-word to this DDB handicap to Bishop-dumb. He and others like him are just as much a part of the problem.
We must continue to redress the irregularities at FAMU by rallying for the removal of the deaf, dumb and blind.
They can’t possibly lead this university to any place but chaos.
Monica Harden is a senior magazine production student from Hockley, Texas. She is the deputy opinions editor for The Famuan. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.