As most people have no doubt heard, Florida A&M University is in some serious straits. The latest is covered here.
The gist of the problem is that FAMU has some serious financial management issues. At this point, FAMU is being subject to an audit and the state has given FSU financial control over the joint FSU-FAMU college of Engineering.
Some people have asked me if I think that there is racism involved. Although racism is still a serious problem, I do not think it is really a serious factor here (although the nature of the coverage of FAMU in the press does raise some questions…). The fact of the matter is not about black or white or any other color but green. The sad truth is that FAMU has been badly managed and the state is doing what needs to be done-stepping in and requiring FAMU to get things in order. Although I have my worries, I am confident that FAMU will get through this and emerge even stronger.
That said, I think that this same level of attention should be given to all universities and other public institutions. It would be interesting to see the results if, for example, the federal government were subject to such intense scrutiny and held to the same requirments as FAMU. I do not see that happening anytime soon. Politicians are often keen to check on other peoples’ houses (so to speak) but are loath to allow anyone to peak inside their house. And probably for some very good reasons (at the federal level: billions lost and misspent, pork, corruption, and many crimes).