The summer was not kind to Florida A&M. Drama took center stage in the form of firings, embarrassing public displays and even name calling. It was out there for the entire public to see.
It’s one thing to restructure FAMU – restructure being another word for firing a lot of people- but it’s another to expose in-house business to the public. It’s called “airing out dirty laundry” and FAMU did it far too publicly.
Yes, people have a right to know. The press, of course, has a right to report it. But bickering among the brass at Florida A&M is unacceptable, publicly or privately. The criticism thrown around was so harsh its reflection on the university was embarrassing.
It’s not the restructuring that shouldn’t have been public, it was the lack of professionalism.
As young adults about to enter our careers, Rattlers need role models that lead by example. Those who are bitter and vindictive when dismissed are not to be held up as examples.
I find it ironic that the one person with “nothing to lose” in this debacle, our interim President, has thrown the fewest barbs and burned the fewest bridges. She is doing what needs to be done and has eliminated a lot of dead weight. However, she is not above the fray. She is not beyond criticism.
Make no mistake, I am one in the “silent majority,” she claims to exist. I believe, like many others, she should be left alone to just do her job.
But sudden dismissal of employees without previous or recent reprimands, much less extensive notice, is reckless.
Not to mention it makes the faculty, even the tenured professors, nervous for their jobs. They should be held close at a time like this.
The way FAMU has treated its faculty as a whole since our interim President was appointed is unacceptable. They, especially the tenured ones, should be treated like sages or elders.
I support our interim President. She is taking out the trash now that was too smelly for anyone else to take out before. I greatly admire her honesty and her “nothing to lose” attitude. She is a noble woman and I have great respect for her being a woman of authority in an otherwise man’s world.
But she should save her hatchet of authority for those within the institution who deserve it, and not for the good apples in the bunch.
If she has nothing to lose, she should give at least some of us the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone in this University is dead weight. I hope she knows that.
Paul de Revere is a third-year, Newspaper journalism student from Tallahassee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.