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Welcome to Florida A&M Univeristy!

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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, founded on October 3, 1887, as the State Normal College for Colored Students. It began classes with fifteen students and two instructors. Its destiny - to become an institution of higher learning, striving toward even greater heights of academic excellence. Today, Florida A&M University is one of nine institutions in Florida 's State University System, and excellence - "excellence with caring" - remains its goal.

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As of late this University has had its good share of controversy, much of it negative overshadowing the many positive things there are about this school. The search for a new University President is on after two years of under the Ganious Administration. IMHO he wasn't given a fair chance to turn the school around. He inherited far too many problems to correct in the short time he was there. The school's board of trustees expected him to be superman and when they realized he wasn't they let him go.

In comes the interim Univeristy president, who seems to have more authority and reform minded ideas than any Univeristy president in the school's recent history. So far many top Univeristy officials have been fired - for good or bad has yet to be determined. One of the most recent firings, though, placed muched respected Head Football Coach Billy Joe in the hot seat. It was said that he was in violation of NCAA rules, but no specifics were given. A sports reporter had done an interview with the coach on the day of his firing prior to him being notified and the Coach was unaware of any such special press conference that same day and surely he didn't know he would be the subject of concern. Surely his firing has left his football program, and his school looking more and more unaware of its future.

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Coach Billy Joe, Tallahassee Democrat Photo

Whats next for FAMU?

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I am very scared for Famu right now. Hopefully things can turn around for this school. I don't know why the fired Billy Joe, that just came out of no where. I can only imagine how the football players, and his assistant coaches feel. SHOOT! I wonder how he feels about it. :huh:

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If I were him I'd feel betrayed. He has always looked out for the best interest of his program and his school and he is a positive figure in this community. As far as the destiny of the University is concerned, they need to pick a solid leader and they need to do it soon. It shouldn't take them nearly a year like it did when they were choosing the last President. I personally have no problem with this interim as long as the changes she is making are going to benifit the Univeristy and the Community in the long run.

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Insults Fly

By Melanie Yeager

DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER

Fed up with his constant criticism, Florida A&M University Interim President Castell Bryant is giving Barney Bishop, one of her 13 trustee bosses, the silent treatment.

"Over the past weeks, conversations with trustee Barney Bishop are rapidly growing to disturbing levels," Bryant wrote in a Wednesday e-mail to trustees. "They are sometimes insulting and personally humiliating, but almost always professionally challenging."

Public criticism by Bishop in Wednesday's Orlando Sentinel over the Tuesday firing of head football Coach Billy Joe proved to be the last straw. Bryant said she will no longer see or converse with Bishop until the trustees' June 30 board meeting.

Bishop, arguably Bryant's No.1 public critic, was not surprised by Bryant's decision.

"She would like to demonize me, but what she doesn't understand is I don't really care if I'm the most popular person on the board of trustees," Bishop said Wednesday. "There's not a single other trustee who has raised a red flag."

Bishop, president of Associated Industries of Florida, has supported Bryant's universitywide payroll audit and her attempts to clamp down on campus spending. But he repeatedly has said he wants trustees to receive more information, especially any support material regarding why she's made certain personnel decisions. One example is Bryant's dismissal of all 23 employees in the school's Institute on Urban Policy and Commerce. She also has placed law-school dean Percy Luney on paid administrative leave.

In both cases Bryant has cited the ongoing payroll audit as the reason behind the personnel actions. Bishop said trustees should have that information.

The Tallahassee Democrat continues to ask for the audit information Bryant is using to make those decisions. Elizabeth McBride, university attorney, has said Bryant has received some oral reports. She said she will be happy to provide a copy once FAMU receives it. Bryant plans to unveil that information June 30.

Bishop plans to be there.

"If I'm going to start a fight, I want to be there for it," he said.

Going against the majority of the board is nothing new for Bishop. An ardent supporter of former President Fred Gainous, Bishop voted against his dismissal.

In Bryant's announcement to cut communication with Bishop, she cites the Orlando Sentinel article in which Bishop is reacting to Joe's termination. Interim Athletic Director E. Newton Jackson has said the ouster was based on Joe's role in the program's NCAA recruiting and eligibility violations.

Bryant said Bishop was lying about her refusal to give him the NCAA report because they never talked Tuesday despite her attempts to reach him.

Bishop says "the report" he was speaking about was the payroll audit, not the NCAA report.

"As far as not wanting to talk to me, she's never wanted to talk to me," said Bishop, who was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush for a term ending this January. "This is nothing new. I ask tough questions, and she doesn't want to answer them."

Bryant could not be reached immediately for comment late Tuesday, but she told trustees the decision to terminate talking with Bishop was a difficult one.

"As you know, these are challenging and demanding times, and in my opinion, I need to be physically available and in a mental position to make decisions that are in the best interest of the university," she wrote.

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Things are completely insane right now. As far as Billy Joe goes, he had been trying to get fired for a while, every since most of his assistant coaches quit and the school stopped allowing the athletic department to spend money. I believe most of the crap going on now stem from shady dealings when Humpries was the President, while I was in school.

Hoepfully we can get some decent people in charge before it gets too late. The last thing any FAMU graduate wants to see, is it becoming an FSU South!

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I've heard this rumor before and I must say the FSU South thing is a ridiculous idea! FAMU is far to rich in history, and to significant to this nation as a top notch HBCU to be merged into another Univeristy. This University has its problems, but so does FSU, UF, and all of the other schools in the University System.

You may be on to something with the Humphries thing. I believe his true reasons for leaving may involve his knowledge that things were about to "break" and he wanted to get out before they did. I grew suspicious during the site selection process for the FAMU law school... won't get into all that right now, but things were handled strangely, and he seemed to almost rush to leave the University with his retirement package... must be nice to set a time bomb and get paid for it.

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I agree, FAMU won't become a FSU South and I felt the same way about Humphries and the law school selection. If you remember, the Administrator right under Humphries (Anmons-"spelling is probably wrong") also jumped ship abruptly, right before Humphries retired.

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Yes I do recall that. Again... although they much admire the man, he left a time bomb at that school. Now, I didn't get a chance to know Ganious well, but the man was trying to do all he could to pick the University up out of its hard spot. I'd figure given 5 years or so FAMU would be on track to where it is supossed to be.

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Because of all this, I have really thought about which school I would like to go after I graduate from high school. As of right now Famu is most definetly at the bottom of the list. I would rather go to the Tallahassee Community College. A reason why I think Famu might be struggling is because the alumni are not contributing. Every homecoming they come in our city and add this heavy traffic. They come in wearing their orange and green Rattler shirts with the snake tag on the back of their nice luxury cars saying they rattler this and rattler that. But when Famu sends them a letter asking for some kinkd of contribution some of the alumni toss the letters in the trash or avoid what the letter was asking. Don't get me wrong its not wrong to show pride for your alma mater but it is wrong when you don't help out your school that helped you to get a career that helped you to afford that fancy car. Then again maybe I am just describing the people who are close to me that don't help Famu at all. ;)

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No the Alumni contribute. The problem is school officials have been flat out stealing and mis-managing money. FAMU is suffering from years of covered-up bad financial management, that's finally come into light.

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Some thoughts...

*I really liked Billy Joe, I wish he were still at FAMU.

*FAMU has some loyal alumni. Yes, donations could be better, but FAMU's number 1 issue (and number 2-10) is management that makes Eron look like GE. I think state politicians afraid to be called racist are afraid to put the smack down on FAMU and in the end FAMU suffers because of it. Loyal grads of FAMU are understandably worried about donating. I hope they can fix this. FAMU deserves better.

*FAMU will never be FSU South. They don't want it and FSU never requested it...nor will either of those things ever happen.

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That's it, the alumni are scared to donate or now is!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:P Sorry about that hehe. You guys touched right on it, some of the alumni are just scared to donate. I would be too if i found out there has been bad financial management on my money! Hopefully Famu can turn things around by my senior year. This school really does deserve better.

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You all have vaild points. I too know of many people who claim proud support for FAMU but have never offered a red cent in donation to the boosters. Truth is money is being stolen from this school at every level from the Administration to the student government... its true!

I agree with the person who says the legislature is afraid to lay it down on FAMU and still continue to ignore what is really going on. FAMU deserves a special session of the legislature until its problems are all out in the open and something is put in place to fix them.

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There is at least one development on campus though. I am not sure what it is, but there must be someone in the facility with some faith in the schools ability to bounce back. I like famu, she is so cute sittin up on that hill

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I agree. Alot of good is going on at FAMU that we hardly hear about because all of the negative. The school just recieved $15 Million for the construction of a new althletic center similar to the Leach at FSU. Additionally they have started a capital campaign similar to FSU's to upgrade Stadiums and other athletic facilities.

The school is indeed very beautiful on top of that Hill. I think as areas South of Tallahassee begin to improve along so will FAMU. The Phamacy program at this school is still nationally rated as top notch, this is still the nations largest or second largest HBCU and is very attractive for Urban Students from all over the nation. This school has a bright future it just needs to iron out its few personnel issues.

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Word is, my Pastor, Reverend R.B. Holmes, is now in charge of a committee to select the next head football coach for FAMU... I don't know what my reverend knows about sports, football, or coaches... but shouldn't some professional athletic consultant of sorts be leading this search. How in the world are they going to find a new coach in time?

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From the Campus of Florida A&M Univeristy today I was able to capture a great picture of the downtown that I will post under Downtown Tallahassee.

However, here are some great pictures of some buildings surrounding the one I visited today.

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Enjoy!

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Board of trustees are meeting tomorrow... we could see some major news come out of FAMU with regard to staff and searches for president and athletic coaches. It also seems the school still has a good deal of hiring to do for its deans.

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I have my thoughts about their board of trustees. I think they move too slow, and they often choose the wrong times to make their moves. They need to keep the students in mind when they make some of their decisions, because students are often those hurt worse even when they seek to punish only the faculty.

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back on track, but years behind because of the duration of time that it took for administration to fix problems... bouncing back from such problems is going to take alot of time... who is going to trust them?!?

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It will take time for the leaders of the schools to re-establish their reputation. I hope the installation of a new president will help toward that direction.

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