On December 8 of last year, New Times published "Crime 101", a feature exposing the stunning amount of violent crime that had over-run the campus of Miami Gardens' historical Florida Memorial University. Less than two weeks later, the university announced that it was launching a "national search" for a permanent replacement for interim president Sandra T. Thompson. The school had contracted with a Virginia-based headhunting firm and appointed a Search Committee, all of which sounded very officious.
We are hereby shocked: Now in March, there hasn't been a peep from the school about any new appointee. "The controversy has quieted down, so now they're not feeling any urgency," says a female student who asked that her name not be used. "Believe me, if it was up to the administration, they wouldn't make any changes at all."
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Thompson took the interim seat in August 2009, after the previous president, Karl S. Wright, was abruptly removed from the position, with no explanation given. Violence on campus certainly pre-dated Thompson -- although there's no indication that she or other members of the administration did anything about the problem except attempt, rather clumsily, to keep it quiet.
A timely replacement would, if nothing else, be a sign that Florida Memorial's administration is pro-actively attempting to fix the situation. "The campus has just as much crime as ever," claims the anonymous student. "Meanwhile, our school's reputation has gone down the drain -- and we're going to have to apply for jobs one day."
FMU's director of student affairs, Joyce Forchion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the search for a president. Neither did Search Committee chairperson JoLinda Herring.