FAMU Alumni, Fired Faculty Members Sound Off

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"I want my job back, or I want to get paid," said former FAMU employee Barbara Gainous.

She was laid off last July and is one of close to 100 FAMU faculty and staff members let go in the past two years, according to FAMU's chapter of the United Faculty of Florida.

"In total, if you look across the entire university it is approaching 100, or at least 75 or so," said Bill Tucker with the United Faculty of Florida.

A press conference held Wednesday turned into a platform for those who've gotten the ax from President Castell Bryant. Former employees like Thomas Jefferson, who was one of eight professors in the school of business.

"Dr. Bryant manages a $300 million program. I've managed a $40 billion program at General Motors, so you can't tell me I don't know how to manage. So, I'm insulted," said Jefferson.

Despite the layoffs, university officials have hired two deans in the areas of nursing and education. Still, three dean vacancies remain.

"I think it is typical for any institution to have significant changes, because with change you have improvement," said FAMU spokeswoman Lanedra Carroll.

The attorney for Michael Brown, FAMU's inspector general who is currently on administrative paid leave, made a plea to trustees at the press conference to consider reinstating his client.

"Their own charter they approved clearly said he could be independent. I just hope and pray they do the right thing," said Brown.

The university says it is addressing financial issues regarding a draft audit, one that shows a surplus of about $2.7 million rather than $8 million as projected earlier.

This and other issues are expected to be addressed during Thursday's meeting of the board of trustees.

One person who will not be there as a trustee is Corey Alston, who handed the governor his letter of resignation. In his letter, Alston says several business and family items have emerged, which require immediate attention.