Showing posts with label opinions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label opinions. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2016

FAMU professors become targets for personal insults in “FAMU Alumni” Facebook group

Two Florida A&M faculty members who publicly shared opinions about the university administration recently became targets for personal insults in the “FAMU Alumni” Facebook group.

Back on June 7, Rattler Nation posted an open letter that School of Business and Industry (SBI) Professor Annette Singleton Jackson wrote about what she sees as the poor treatment that the FAMU faculty is receiving under the current administration. On that same day, the Tallahassee Democrat uploaded an op-ed by FAMU United Faculty of Florida President Elizabeth K. Davenport entitled: “Anonymous petition doesn’t help Mangum’s administration.”

Davenport criticized an anonymous online petition that asked the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) to grant a contract extension to President Elmira Mangum. The petition, which was filled with misinformation, received support from many members of the “FAMU Alumni” Facebook group.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Agnew fought hard to keep engineering college budget control at FAMU in 2007

FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s claim that the university didn’t previously control the budget for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) has placed her in conflict with the Rattlers who know that isn’t true.

One FAMUan who understands that FAMU really did have budget control of the COE is Umi Selah (a.k.a. Phillip Agnew). He helped fight off an attempt to remove that budget control from FAMU when he was the student body president in 2007. 

On January 15, 2015, Mangum welcomed Agnew to campus as the keynote speaker for the FAMU Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation. She complimented him on his commitment to justice through his leadership of the activist group Dream Defenders.

But just four months later, Mangum gave her backing to a move that brought FAMU’s budget control at the COE to an end. Agnew announced last week that he doesn’t think the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) should renew Mangum’s contract, which is set to expire in 2017.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

BOT must protect FAMU tenure system

FAMU became an “R2” (higher research activity) university in the Carnegie classifications mainly because of the work done by professors who are tenured or on the tenure-track. The tenure system is essential to FAMU’s ability to compete for professors who are capable of R2-level research and Ph.D. education activities.

That’s why the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) needs to give serious attention to a point that School of Business and Industry Professor Annette Singleton Jackson raised in her open letter to the faculty last week.

She told FAMU United Faculty of Florida President Elizabeth Davenport that:

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

SBI professor speaks out about Mangum administration’s treatment of FAMU faculty

Late last week, FAMU School of Business and Industry Professor Annette Singleton Jackson wrote an open letter about what she sees as the poor treatment that the faculty is receiving under the current administration.

Jackson addressed the letter to FAMU United Faculty of Florida President Elizabeth Davenport in order to support the views that Davenport shared in the chapter’s May 2016 newsletter.  

June 3, 2016

Dear Liz,

Thank you for your efforts with the newsletter and keeping us informed. Kudos for your honesty and your dedication to obtaining fair dealings for those whom you represent. Though you are protecting the privacy of the many faculty members who have contacted you by not disclosing their personal struggles, I know firsthand how the rights of faculty and staff have been disregarded by this administration at levels unprecedented in my 13 years on the FAMU plus my years as an undergraduate.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Petition wrongly claims that Mangum was responsible for moving FAMU to R2

A change.org petition started by a poster named “Rattlers4FAMU Real Rattlers” is filled with misinformation. The online page, which asks the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) to grant President Elmira Mangum a contract extension, wrongly claims that she was responsible for moving FAMU to “R2.”

“Her leadership was also responsible for the elevation of FAMU to an R-2 (high research activity) Carnegie classification,” the petition says.

But if the petitioners took some time to read the information on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education website and FAMU.edu, they might be able to see why that claim isn’t true.

The Carnegie Classification webpage, which is hosted by Indiana University, states that “these data represent the time period of 2013-14.”

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Online petitioners even more misinformed about FAMU-FSU engineering than Mangum

FAMU currently has a president who showed last July that she didn’t understand FAMU controlled the budget for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) for 28 years.

Now, there are online petitioners who appear to know even less about the COE than she does.

A change.org petition started by a poster named “Rattlers4FAMU Real Rattlers” is asking the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) to grant President Elmira Mangum a contract extension. The petition attempts to support that request with a number of misinformed claims about the COE.

The petition claims that some individuals “are using what we call the ‘South Carolina Strategy’ to attempt to destroy FAMU. The SC Strategy includes…2. Closing high-impact programs in STEM (e.g. joint engineering school).”

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Appointing strong mid-level administrators to work under weak provost doesn’t cut it

The FAMU faculty has been the biggest source of stability at the university since President Frederick S. Humphries left in 2001. A number of faculty members who were hired by the Humphries administration have risen to become the premier young administrative leaders in the Division of Academic Affairs.

Last year, Genyne Henry Boston received an appointment to serve as the associate provost for faculty affairs and faculty development and David H. Jackson, Jr. was selected as the associate provost for Graduate Education and dean of Graduate Studies. Just last week, Shelby R. Chipman became the new director of FAMU’s Marching Band and Pep Bands.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

FAMU alumni president: Lawson is best choice for FAMU chair

Today, the Tallahassee Democrat published an op-ed by Lt. Col. Gregory L. Clark, president of the FAMU National Alumni Association. Clark urges the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) to elect Interim Chairman Kelvin Lawson to a full term as its chair. The BOT is scheduled to hold its officer elections during its meeting on June 10th in Tallahassee.

From Clark’s op-ed:

As president of the National Alumni Association of Florida A&M University, I urge your attention to the matter of the formal appointment of the current interim FAMU Board of Trustees chair and former vice-chair Kelvin Lawson.

In my role as a leader and as an alumnus, I urge the appointment of Interim Chair Lawson and strongly encourage all alumni and citizens who care about higher education to support him as well…

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lawson, Proctor two of the last strong political voices for FAMU in Tallahassee

FAMU has received poor representation from its alumni in the Florida Legislature since 2015. They chose to keep silent as the state of FAMU’s administration went downhill.

Two of the last strong political voices for FAMU in Tallahassee are Alfred “Al” Lawson and William C. “Bill” Proctor, Jr. 

Back in July of 2015, FAMU lost budget authority for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) after 28 years. FAMU President Elmira Mangum supported the changes that led to this.

Lawson, a FAMU alumnus and former Florida Senate Minority Leader, told a reporter the next month that he had offered his help to Mangum a number of times but she wasn’t interested in hearing what he had to say.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mangum’s vague 2016-2017 goals reflect her lack of vision

Last week, the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) took President Elmira Mangum to task for the vague goals she presented for May 2016 to April 2017. Those will be the final 11 months of her three-year contract.

The problem reflects the lack of vision that Mangum has as a president.

Back when Mangum was hired, some FAMUans thought her background at Cornell University would make her a champion for building new doctoral programs at FAMU.

But the goals for 2016-2017 that Mangum gave to the BOT Special Committee on Presidential Evaluation failed to include any specific plans for the expansion of doctoral programs that FAMU needs to climb up to “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest research activity” in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Warren was another low-quality trustee with no loyalty to FAMU

For years the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) has declined many excellent applications for the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) in order to appoint low-quality individuals like Cleve Warren. The BOG finally got rid of Warren yesterday after he spent years hurting FAMU.

The end of Warren’s time on the BOT came after he chose to keep silent about FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s slights against top Republican politicians in the state of Florida.

Warren didn’t lift a finger to help when FAMU lost budget authority for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering after 28 years or after the vice-president for audit and compliance reported “potential interference” in his work. He also didn’t speak out about the terrible media relations by the current administration.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Thrasher used smart strategy to guarantee he gets result he wants in COE dean selection

FSU Professor Emmanuel Collins and FSU Professor Bruce Locke
Selection process for FAMU-FSU College of Engineering dean since 1987
Back in 2015, the FAMU administration led by President Elmira Mangum said that “gaining the responsibility of selecting the dean” of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) was important for FAMU.

“Arresting the decline in FAMU’s student body means hiring new faculty, which is an important factor in attracting students. The dean has the responsibility of approving vacant and new line items. Gaining the responsibility of selecting the dean will help to address this issue,” a FAMU press release said.

But “gaining the responsibility of selecting the dean” isn’t what happened at FAMU.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thrasher has power to keep Locke in FAMU-FSU deanship for as long as he wants

Back when Elmira Mangum agreed to jointly appoint Bruce Locke as the interim dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE), she also indirectly gave John Thrasher the power to keep him that position for as long as he wants.

Locke is a professor with tenure at FSU and was an FSU associate provost when Mangum gave her approval for his joint appointment to the COE interim deanship. He is now a finalist for the permanent COE deanship.

If Thrasher wants Locke to become permanent dean and Mangum says “no,” then Locke will just stay on in the interim deanship on an indefinite basis.

Rattler Nation has been writing about this obvious problem for months.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tampa Bay Times editorial board: “Court protects black voters over incumbent”

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida rejected U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s legal challenge against the redrawn Fifth Congressional District.

Back in 2015, Florida Supreme Court Justices E.C. Perry and Peggy Quince said that the new District 5 map is fair to minority voters. The Tampa Bay Times editorial board agreed in an editorial it released yesterday.

From the editorial: “Court protects black voters over incumbent”:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mangum has set tone for her supporters’ lowbrow antics toward reporters

Rattler Nation hasn’t shied away from speaking out against warped news articles and editorials about FAMU since this site started.

Back in 2012, this blog received a big amount of traffic from viewers who came to read the RN criticism of the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. Then-Sentinel opinions editor Mike Lafferty answered with a column that criticized us back.

Click on the “media” tag on this blog and you’ll see RN editorials that also blast things that were published by the Tallahassee Democrat, Associated Press, and St. Pete Times.

The RN blogging team continues to urge alumni who have a problem with what any media organization has said about their alma mater to make a public response in a way that represents a FAMU education. But the alumni who proposed an organized effort of name-calling and cursing at Tallahassee Democrat reporter Byron Dobson didn’t do that. That was an attempt to get support for online bullying.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Administrative mishandling of FAMU student elections was too obvious to ignore

Justin Bruno speaks as Victor Chrispin stands behind him and Elmira Mangum watches
Yesterday, FAMU Student Government Association (SGA) Vice-President Justin Bruno saw victory in his legal action against the university administration.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper granted Bruno’s request for a temporary injunction to stop a full redo of the SGA presidential election in both Tallahassee and the law school campus in Orlando. Cooper agreed with Bruno that the new election should only take place in Orlando where voting-day problems were reported.

The judge rejected a “motion to dismiss” by the FAMU attorneys. He also disagreed with the FAMU legal team’s argument that the Tallahassee campus should be part of the election redo, too.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bruno in middle of Mangum, Graham conflict

FAMU Student Government Association (SGA) President Tonnette S. Graham has been an advocate of giving Elmira Mangum a fair shot to do the best she can in Lee Hall. But she’s refused to be a yes-woman for the FAMU president.

Voting “No Confidence” Kellen Winslow, Sr.

Mangum got off to a friendly start with Graham when she began her first term as SGA president back in May 2014. That soon changed in the fall when the two clashed over Mangum’s first athletic director, Kellen Winslow, Sr.

Winslow angered many FAMU supporters by saying that the athletics department should be torn down and rebuilt “the right way,” firing Head Football Coach Earl Holmes during homecoming week, and asking the student-athletes who complained to him about Holmes’ firing: “Don’t y’all have a book to read?”

Hundreds of FAMU students showed their anger by booing Winslow during the 2014 Homecoming Convocation. Graham let The FAMUan know that she was also disappointed with Winslow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Antics of FAMU communications “leadership” a continuous magnet for negative publicly

Public displays of unprofessionalism and questionable actions by the “leadership” of the Office of Communications are part of the weekly routine for the current FAMU administration. The latest round of embarrassments just adds to the list of reasons why its senior staff members shouldn’t be trusted.

Chief of Staff Jimmy Miller, who supervises the Office of Communications, bumbled through another set of letters to the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) last week. He told the BOT on March 14 that ex-Chief Financial Officer Dale Cassidy had been reassigned to work as the FAMU chief audit executive. But he then wrote the BOT members again to tell them that Vice-President for Audit and Compliance Rick Givens “will continue to serve as the university’s chief audit executive.” Miller also said some of Givens’ duties would shift to Cassidy but only gave a vague statement on that point.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Humphries: Democratic voters should ask candidates for details about their HBCU plans

Frederick S. Humphries, the eighth president of Florida A&M University, shared the following message on his official Facebook page on March 11th:

Issues, Questions & Answers - What's in it for HBCUs?

There has been significant discussion regarding free tuition for Higher Education and what the implications are to HBCU's. Both Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders have indicated in broad strokes their intentions to help HBCU's as part of their proposed Higher Education packages, but little with respect to details has been discussed - at least in the public forum.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Treatment of Yeboah a stain on FAMU-FSU College of Engineering’s reputation

Yaw D. Yeboah, a native of Ghana, became the first black dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) on July 1, 2012. He then abruptly announced his resignation less than three years later amid a shakeup that handed new FSU President John Thrasher all the cards for deciding the future of the deanship.  

Yeboah had emphasized the diversity component of the COE mission during his short time as the dean.

“Time is a gift that we have to use to grow, produce and serve — which is synonymous with the motto of the college: ‘Quality, Growth and Diversity,’” he said during his first year. “My long-term plan is for the college to grow strategically, be diverse and have nationally ranked engineering programs from both the academic and research viewpoints.”

But the new focus of the COE and its current deanship search appears to be Thrasher’s goal of helping FSU become one of the top 25 public universities.