FAMU Defender Aims Nukes at Riptide

Two days after Riptide published an article detailing the glacial pace of troubled Florida Memorial University's search for a president-- and calling Florida A&M University pharmacy professor and dean Henry Lewis III "our gambler's pick"-- FMU did indeed choose him for the presidential position.

But despite our burgeoning reputation as a seer, at least one FAMU defender is very angry about some of the reporting in the article, plastering my photo on a blog post and labeling me "factually-challenged" and "inept". Needless to say, it's been a busy morning.

I had written that Lewis "is trying to escape a school that has suffered loss of accreditations and high administrative turnover in the past several years."

That did not sit well with FAMU blog Rattler Nation, where scribe "Big Rattler" took me to task:

Garcia-Roberts' cluelessness is shocking. If he bothered to read a few of the articles written by Florida's better-trained news reporters, he would know that FAMU never lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or any other accrediting body.

I didn't claim that FAMU lost its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools -- although that's been a well-reported danger. I was referring specifically to Lewis' pharmacy college, which was reaccredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in 2008 after being placed on probation due to issues with faculty, curriculum, and the college's facility.

But that wasn't Big Rattler's only issue:

If Garcia-Roberts did a little research, he would also know that the "high administrative turnover [at FAMU] in the past several years" was the result of bad Board of Trustees members and administrators who were protected the Florida Board of Governors.

And Big Rattler's parting shot:

If Lewis does get the Florida Memorial presidency, he should immediately provide some remedial newswriting methods courses in the Miami-area for factually-challenged reporters like Garcia-Roberts.

I await my new syllabus.

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Gus Garcia-Roberts