So Florida Memorial University, How's that Search for that New President Going?

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."

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.

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Gus Garcia-Roberts