Students react to board’s decision

The FAMU Board of Trustees met in the Grand Ballroom Tuesday to discuss important issues and concerns critical to the future success or failure of the University. The major issue was the removal of Fred Gainous as the University’s president.

Gainous succeeded Frederick Humphries during the summer of 2002, after he was interviewed, and later selected to serve as the next leader of the University.

Many students, however, realized others have looked upon this institution as one that has significant financial problems and the lack of leadership. Students and alumni have opted to hold Gainous responsible for making poor decisions but have agreed the removal of a president is a serious matter that will have a long lasting effect on the University.

Valencia Edochie, a senior psychology student, said this decision was made too fast and was not fully thought out by the members of the BOT.

“I feel that this should not have been such a hasty decision,” said the 21-year-old from Stone Mountain, Ga.

“We have to seriously consider the consequences of moving forward without a leader,” Edochie said.

Chelsea Hall, a senior agribusiness student, said the decision is one that will lead FAMU into a better direction in the future.

“I think that the decision that was made by the Board of Trustees was in the best interest of the students and the University as a whole,” Hall said.

Kamina Smith does not agree Gainous should be completely blamed in this situation but suggests we survey the BOT members and their job responsibilities.

“There aren’t any hard facts that warrant the removal of Gainous from office,” said Smith, a graduate student in the professional MBA program.

“The financial issues may stem from the fact the BOT has not been raising funds,” said the 21-year-old from Sacramento, Calif. “BOT members from other state universities raise funds, therefore, the job responsibilities of our BOT needs to be looked at in detail.”

Smith suggests that alumni, students and others should approach Bush with our concerns instead of immediately ousting Gainous.

Members from the Miami-Dade alumni chapter were also in attendance at the meeting. They expressed their deep concern about removing Gainous from his position, as well as the immediate removal of Barney Bishop from the board.

Arthur Davis, the president of the Southern California alumni chapter, said this decision would really affect the University, but more particularly the students.

“The bottom line of what the BOT decides in December should be based on whether or not Dr. Gainous fulfilled his job and his duties,” Davis said.

Contact Tyre Sperling at