Dr. Fred Gainous says he'll forego a final evaluation and vote by the Board of Trustees in December. He wants to make his exit from the presidency on December 11, the day following FAMU's fall commencement. That's why the Board of Trustees has cancelled a December 14 evaluation and vote, which could have kept him in office.
Rev. R.B. Holmes, a FAMU trustee, says, “We said to Dr. Gainous, ‘we appreciate your honor. We appreciate the way you've led this university,’ and he understands that we're moving forward, but moving forward in a positive and straightforward way.”
Speaking off camera, Gainous says his decision is a good one for the university. Among FAMU students, Gainous' announcement received mixed reaction.
Betsheell Metayer, a FAMU freshman, says, “He's just saving face. He's going to get voted out anyway. If it was me and I knew that I was going to get voted out, I wouldn't just go through that long process, there is no point to it.”
Tony Pearson, a FAMU senior, adds, “I feel he made the best decision for the university, for the board and for the students to give him a chance to gracefully bow out and move on with his career rather than cause turmoil and trouble for the Board of Trustees to make their vote.”
Gainous' announcement didn't come without a few initial hitches as it relates to honoring his contract.
Barney Bishop, a FAMU trustee, says, “We're not going to be mean spirited, we’re not going to try to cut corners and we're not going to try to negotiate you down to something less that what you are entitled too.”
Although officially stepping down on December 11, Gainous will remain on campus until December 31.
Trustees hope to have a list of possible candidates for the interim president's job by December 14. Whoever is selected for that job can not run for the permanent presidency.