Vice president of Student Affairs Roland Gaines retires after 36 years at FAMU

Vice President of Student Affairs Roland Gaines is retiring from the campus at which he has spent almost his entire educational and professional career. Gaines announced his retirement on April 7 during a meeting with Florida A&M directors that included the Director of Student Union and Activities Saundra Inge, and Dean of Students Henry L. Kirby. He has worked for FAMU for 36 years.According to Rattler Nation, Gaines’ retirement date is effective June 30.“I fussed at him a little bit because it was such a surprise to us last Wednesday when he first told us,” Inge said. “But that was honorable about him too. He made sure we knew before the street committee knew.”Gaines is leaving as the university administration prepares to undergo some of the most severe budget cuts in recent years. Staff positions will be cut in conjunction with hikes in student fees and tuition.Gaines’ tenure at FAMU covers 36 years, interrupted by a six-year-stint as vice chancellor of student affairs at North Carolina Central University.“He has given some very good valuable years to FAMU and to education. I have worked with him my whole years at FAMU,” said Inge, who has been a university employee of 34 years. “He has been on a lot of levels, as a student enrolled, a student working, and an employee. When I was in financial aid, he ended up being the interim director for a period of time. In every transition that has happened at the university, he ended up being the person to step in.” Gaines, who was just leaving his office at 7 p.m., which he called “leaving early,” said he enjoyed the students and all the phases that FAMU has had.“It just so happens that there is a time to leave, to relax and chill out and enjoy life,” Gaines said.Gaines left his office in Foote-Hilyer early Tuesday afternoon to attend a meeting, but he usually stays at work until 10 p.m.“He never left a day’s work undone. That was his work ethic,” Inge said. “That’s probably why he really needs rest right now. It’s taxing.” Gaines, a father of three and grandfather of seven, earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from FAMU. During retirement, Gaines said he plans to travel.“Either this fall or spring, I’m going to visit South Korea to see my son,” Gaines said.Inge visited Gaines’s office Tuesday afternoon to discuss the times she shared with him. “I get tearful when I think about it,” Inge said. “I went over to have my special moments with him just to tell him that I am going to miss him and that I appreciated his kindness and honesty and just being a good person to work with. We didn’t always agree but he was just a good person.”Inge said Gaines looked forward to hopping in his Winnebago and traveling and just being a little free.“We had a really good working relationship and I miss him already, but I have a cell phone and I know that I can call him,” Inge said.