School’s problems rooted in poor media relations

You never know what you have until it’s gone.

The Florida A&M University side of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering won’t have to hold that sentiment anymore after being allowed to maintain control of the school’s budget.

Just weeks after state legislators threatened to rip financial control away from FAMU and give it to Florida State, the tides have turned and FAMU has made strides toward making its perceived fiscal incompetence a fallacy.

While the news should be a triumphant declaration, it is instead a testament to the University’s poor public relations efforts. The legislature’s decision to transfer financial control was proposed under misinformed guidelines, guidelines that should have been outlined to the FAMU administration and the FAMU community.

The pretense that the school would be incapable of handling its finances came from constant media coverage of the school’s fiscal mishandlings. Coverage of the school’s positive dealings has become a rarity. If more news of an optimistic nature reached the ears of the media, the perception of the school would undoubtedly change.

The school could also benefit from proactive measures that would combat the thoughts that there is a mass cover-up involving the University. An important element of positive public impressions is to appear honest, a task the University has yet to undertake on a large scale.

So it turns out FAMU isn’t as financially handicapped as everyone thought. But that being said, with such negative perceptions floating around Tallahassee, how could anyone gather anything different?

Akeem Anderson for the Editorial Board.