Everyone likes special treatment, whether it’s getting preferred reservations at a restaurant or being a student athlete for a revenue-generating sports team, who doesn’t have to work for good grades.
But sometimes special treatment can be downright marginalizing. Receiving it may even rob you of a bit of dignity. With that being the case, FAMU students, alumni and supporters should be glad the university doesn’t receive any.
Recently, the university was audited by the Florida Board of Governors. For those who aren’t sure what this means, FAMU underwent an internal investigation by the state to ensure the university is operating to its standards and properly handling state and federal tax dollars. This year, we only had five findings of such negligence, when a number of employees failed to receive compensation for their duties. This is no minor infraction, but its occurrence pales in comparison to the violations cited in previous years.
I glimpsed at the story about our relatively clean audit findings in the Tallahassee Democrat, titled “New audit shows FAMU making progress.” The headline gave me hope, but also made me a bit uneasy. It was not because this is one of the few stories I had seen pertaining to my beloved school all year – even in the midst of really soft news stories about FSU issues that aren’t really pertinent past Copeland Street.
It was alarming because it painted a vivid picture, one that illustrates FAMU as the squeaky wheel on Florida’s higher education vehicle.
Numerous audit findings the university received in the past could have, without question, garnered a complete shutdown of the institution. The fact that we’ve received a couple of decent audits is nothing to celebrate, because it’s expected. In that regard, we shouldn’t expect pundits to celebrate either.
As long as this is the case, the administration should work to whittle away FAMU’s token status, with all deliberate speed. This means we shouldn’t blab excitedly to the media about a clean audit like a kid at show and tell, as if fiscal responsibility isn’t expected of us. Basking in these minor proficiencies only perpetuates the image of a troubled “black school,” the uneducated public loves to hate.
So for the new decade, keeping with the status quo should no longer be a goal of complacent FAMU administrators. After all, haven’t we just “made progress” since 1887?