“Excellence Without Deans”

With Friday’s resignation announcement by the university’s School of Journalism dean, Robert Ruggles, FAMU is currently in the process of replacing the deans of three of its colleges (SBI and the School of Nursing being the other to colleges). This predicament, along with the prospective lose of College of Pharmacy Dean Henry Lewis III, has created a potentially huge problem at the university. Who will lead the schools that makeup the university and what direction will they take each school in?

The fact of the matter is, the current administration has either alienated the deans as they’ve attempted to execute their jobs or neglected to see that the dean was reaching their end.

Sybil Mobley and Margaret Lewis were both apart of the state created DROP- a program created to extend the career of public school teachers or administration five years past otherwise mandatory retirement- and still there was no replacement at the time of their leaving. Ruggles stated lack of support from the administration as one reason for his departure and Lewis was shunned away as he made an attempt at FAMU’s top job.

Compounding these problems, each school is considered a leading program at the university. So it is vital that they are maintained in the best of conditions. Therefore, it is easy to understand the magnitude of the administration’s bungle.

To many, FAMU is viewed as a beacon of what a HBCU should be. If this is true, imagine how it must look for the future of black colleges that their beacon can’t keep the deans of its top schools. The school’s administrators must realize their errors or FAMU may be doomed.

Nevertheless, University leaders must find deans that will advance the progress of each college and lesson to them once they are hired. Doing this will ensure the maintenance of the university motto “excellence with caring.”