Teachers’ firings lower morale

This summer, there were eight terminations in the Florida A&M University School Business and Industry, which earned the fired professors the nickname of the SBI Eight.

The fired professors were sent their releases May 31. They were instructed to vacate their offices by June 9, and their employment was to cease by June 30.

They were called the SBI Eight because of their collective grievance, a complaint against unsatisfactory work policies.

Speaking for himself, fired professor Booker T. Daniels expressed dismay about losing his job so abruptly.

Those who are in the corporate world can handle this layoff, he said.

Daniels, who worked at IBM for 20 years before leaving the business world to teach at FAMU, said he would not come back to the university at this point – even under ideal circumstances.

“I’ve lost so much confidence in FAMU,” he said.

Daniels also expressed specific entrepreneurial plans for the future.

Faculty Senate President Mary B. Diallo signed a statement saying things should not have happened the way they did.

“The eight School of Business and Industry professors should have received due process,” the Faculty Senate Steering Committee motion reads.

In the letter with the included motion, Diallo said, “This action has caused faculty morale to decline action has caused faculty morale to decline considerably.”

Interim President Castell V. Bryant responded in a letter to Diallo that FAMU administration is working hard to review and revise the terms of the termination.

The Eight’s grievance is still officially ongoing, but a settlement is expected very soon.

Notification of an oncoming settlement reflecting the SBI Eight’s Collective Bargaining Agreement reached the Eight as recently as the beginning of the month, Daniels said.

Benefits and a year’s worth of salary were not included in the CBA but may be included in the final settlement.

“The university has issued a decision,” former FAMU Faculty of Florida President Bill Tucker said, referring to a possible settlement. “We’re still working on some details.”