FAMU trustee Barney Bishop is calling it quits. He has felt for months he and the board did not come eye to eye on certain issues, and the university does respect his decision to leave.
Bishop, president over one of Florida's largest lobbying firms, Associated Industries, has served on FAMU's Board of Trustees for three years, but is now saying farewell.
"You have to have to have people who are willing to ask the tough questions and not rubber-stamp every decision that's made by this administration. I think we have given too much power to an interim president and it scares the ----, it scares me," says Bishop.
FAMU spokeswoman Lenedra Carroll says, "Whatever reason that caused trustee Bishop to leave, we respect that and we know that he has a very big job. We wish him well in whatever endeavors."
Aside from bishop there are several other trustees whose terms will be up in January. Those trustees are Leerie Jenkins, Pamela Duncan, Challis Lowe and R.B. Holmes.
Bishop claims his suggestions have gone unnoticed by the board, relating to university finances and many of the university's recent decisions.
A new bill signed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush this summer, prohibiting lobbyists from becoming trustees, would not affect trustees currently serving, including Bishop.
Still, Bishop wants to leave and fears the board may try to change policy to make interim President Castell Bryant a permanent fixture.
"If the Board of Trustees wanted to ask her and wanted to change the rules, they could certainly do so. I think it would be wrong. It would send the wrong signal," says Bishop, whose term officially ends in 2006.
Spokeswoman Carroll says there is a strong indication the other trustees with terms ending will be reappointed