Considering the state of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it is clear that there is a lot of work to be done to change the impression of HBCUs. More specifically, FAMU’s administration has its work cut out if they plan to successfully move the school forward.
With article after article reporting on the chaotic state of affairs at the University, there is no Band-Aid big enough to cover its wounds.
Although the presidential search is a start, Gainous’ departure should not be the only main concern of the administration and trustees.
With an Athletic Department $700,000 in debt, the fate of the head football coach in question – not to mention the School of Business and Industry and the College of Pharmacy, two of the University’s biggest fund-raisers, without permanent leadership – there are obviously several other pressing problems at FAMU.
It is obvious that the list of things to do for the interim and permanent president will undoubtedly be lengthy, but the trustees need to align themselves to support whoever is named president and abandon their past petty behavior. There is too much work to be done to waste time bickering over meeting minutes.
Instead of entertaining rumors of FAMU merging with Florida State University, the administration should be concerned with surpassing FSU in student recruitment, retention and graduation.
Although many of the problems faced by FAMU do, in fact, stem from decisions Gainous made, they should be viewed separately and remedied with just as much care as the president selection.
We can see what happens when key positions are not filled with competent people and the University cannot afford to continue this hiring trend if it is to move forward and up from this state of digression.
Interim president should be ready to work hard
As of Jan. 1, 2005, President Ganious’ tenure is officially over.
The search for an interim president is underway and several of the nominees and applicants are even FAMU alumni or staff members.
But of the 16 who have applied or been nominated, who will seek the best interests of this esteemed University?
This University has a historically rich quality that needs to be replenished and maintained. The past problems that have plagued this campus are not out of the ordinary for a relatively large state institution.
Although he or she will only be in the position for about 18 months, the individual chosen to be the interim president must establish a plan for prosperity that the new president will be sure to follow.
All of the applicants and nominees express some level of intent to seek only the best interests of the students, faculty and institution as a whole.
However, will they be able dedicate the hard work and determination necessary for FAMU to become Princeton Review’s “College of the Year” for a second time?
Are they concerned with being the temporary leader of a well-rounded university for clean, crisp resumes?
Are they ready to make the needed changes to our university?
Only time will tell.
Once put into the position, the interim president must take action. The job will not be easy by any means, and the chosen person must be prepared.
All of the applicants and nominees should be informed about the trials and tribulations of FAMU.
And that means before they accept the position, they must be ready to take us to a whole new level.