Florida A&M has posted the position announcement for the new “high-level administrator” to over see anti-hazing initiatives. An article in the Orlando Sentinel indicates that the anticipated starting salary for the position is $80,000, and the position description calls for minimum qualifications of a “Master’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization and three years of appropriate experience.” The position reports to the President of the University, with a secondary reporting line to the Provost and VPAA. The FAMU news release gives the position a title of Special Assistant to the President, and the posting calls it an Executive Assistant to the President. FAMU is conducting a nationwide search, and looking to fill the position by the end of the year.
In reading all of this material, I have no idea who (among those truly qualified) would want this job. First, $80,000 a year and an Executive Assistant title are really not indicative of a “high-level administrator” position. Second, a dual reporting line is a potential mess (particularly with all of this finger pointing that has been happening at FAMU). Third, for credibility purposes, the person hired for this position must come from outside of the FAMU family. Finally, the position doesn’t appear to actually have any power to do anything (except some education and paperwork).
In my opinion, Florida A&M is once again failing to recognize the enormity of the issues they are facing. By trying to keep this “in-house” they are not demonstrating awareness of the situation and the steps needed to resolve them.
One of the things that the folks at Penn State (primarily the Board of Trustees) actually did right was to quickly recognize that they needed an independent investigation and hired a highly-regarded external investigator to handle that investigation. If you have seen the Freeh Report (and you should read it) you will see that it involved thousands of hours of interviews, and an extensive look at documents and records over an extended period of time. I have yet to see any attempt at a full investigation from Florida A&M.
One of the most provocative statements from the Freeh Report said,
“One of the most challenging of the tasks confronting the Penn State community is transforming the culture that permitted Sandusky’s behavior, as illustrated throughout this report, and which directly contributed to the failure of Penn State’s most powerful leaders to adequately report and respond to the actions of a serial sexual predator. It is up to the entire University community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, the Board, and the administration – to undertake a thorough and honest review of its culture.”
Hasn’t the Florida A&M community developed a culture that permitted the widespread hazing, and failed to adequately report and respond to those actions? Hiring a mid-level administrator for a window-dressing position is not going to get it done.
On a positive note, FAMU has also posted a position for Department of Music Compliance Office (starting salary of $65,000). The position description, responsibilities and salary for this make a lot of sense. Full implementation of this position would help address many of the ancillary issues facing the Marching 100.