Gainous shares goals with faculty at luncheon

Professors approached microphones set up in the Grand Ballroom Monday to ask President Fred Gainous what he planned to do about the lack of faculty available to accommodate the largest enrollment in FAMU’s history.

“Recruitment and retention of faculty, faculty development and a scholarship endowment are the top three problems we need to work on,” Gainous said.

Gainous was pleased with the more than 40 faculty members in attendance and said he planned to continue the “brown bag lunches.”

“These meetings give me an opportunity to share my goals for the university and the students with the faculty,” Gainous said.

“Everybody should be working towards the same outcome. We must set standards for students across the curriculum to develop their skills,” Gainous added.

Yet some of the faculty members were not pleased about the short notice of luncheon.

“I think the faculty needs more notice before the next lunch,” said English professor Beulah Hemmingway. “I didn’t find out about this until I got to campus this morning and saw the signs posted in Tucker Hall.”

Other faculty members felt the increase in admissions is hindering some of the students’ academic performance.

“Although I am pleased with the increase in the admission rate, I’m concerned about the lack of one on one attention I have for my students,” said journalism professor LaRae Donnellan.

Gainous agreed with Donnellan and gave his suggestion on what the faculty could do to assist students who are struggling in their classes.

“We need to develop a road map for each student to develop their individual skills,” Gainous said.

The topic of more funding for the different programs on campus was also addressed.

According to Larry E. Rivers, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, FAMU is looking at implementing Ph.D programs in the biology, chemistry and computer departments.

“Proposals are now being written up to submit to the program committee to develop these new programs,” Rivers said.

Rivers also said his school needs more money and faculty positions filled to be proportionate with enrollment increase and developing the new programs.

Students should not feel left out of the loop when it comes to meeting with the administration.

“I go to activities SGA has and I’ve opened up the dean’s council to students,” said Larry Robinson, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Overall, the administration was pleased with the outcome of the luncheon.

“Anytime the faculty has the opportunity to hear from each other, it’s a positive occasion,” said Patricia Green-Powell, vice president for student affairs. “This shows that we are working together instead of having an us versus them mentality.”

Teesa Johnson can be reached at