TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - County Commissioner Bill Proctor has released a letter addressed to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees. In the letter, Proctor says the University is biased against black men at the University and not women.
Proctor says in the letter that women at the University occupy the highest positions and receive the highest pay, "...black men are not being hired, advanced and keeping pace with the explosion of opportunities and salaries equal to women."
In the letter, Proctor also says that white men are in control of FAMU finances and that the University alienates the black community from vending and business opportunities.
You can read Proctor's full letter below:
Dear Trustee Member:
I write to you as an employee who began my teaching career at Florida A&M University in Spring 1986. I entered first grade in 1965 at FAMU High and graduated from same in 1977.
Swirling comments and public allegations that Florida A&M University's Chairman and Board of Trustees may be insensitive or may have a problem with women in leadership positions does not align with the facts on gender and power roles of women at Florida A&M University.
In a recent newspaper publication (Tallahassee Democrat, August 22, 2015) I offered remarks reduced from an extensive interview. My comments in that article and to you are based upon the 50 year acquaintance I have experienced as a student, instructor and advocate for FAMU.
For the record, data reflects that FAMU is a very welcoming professional arena for women. As of today, women hold the following leadership posts at FAMU:
1. President – female
2. Provost – female
3. President, Faculty Senate – female
4. President, Student Government Association – female
5. Trustee, Student Government Association– female
6. Dean, School of Business – female
7. Dean, School of Journalism – female
8. Dean, Arts and Humanities – female
9. Dean, Allied Health – female
10. Dean, Education – female
11. Dean, School of Nursing – female
12. Assistant Deans – female dominated
13. Associate Deans – female dominated
14. Director, FAMU DRS - female
15. Directors of Programs – females
16. Assistant Directors – female
17. UFF (Union) Representative – female
18. Coaches – female
19. Physicians (Student Health) – female
20. University Attorneys – female
Data shows that FAMU's Board of Trustees has a stellar record in being very hospitable to women in leadership across the entire university. There is no university in Florida that comes close to touching FAMU's gender diversity!
However, it is incomprehensible to black men on FAMU's campus how the biggest pay checks, the most power and the most visibility of substance belongs to women. Black men, contrary to what those elected officials said last week—have been emasculated and are a vanishing professional species at FAMU and the BOT is silent!
In the context of EEO principles, the more poignant question is whether black men are discriminated against and banned from leadership roles and positions at FAMU by virtue of an unspoken rule/policy?
Whatever factors explain the big jobs and money—black men are not being hired, advanced and keeping pace with the explosion of opportunities and salaries equal to women. The black male presence is swiftly atrophying and the attrition rate is high for black male administrators and teachers. The more poignant issue is whether a black man can hold top jobs and receive top pay inside of FAMU's leadership hierarchy?
As a policy matter, do Trustees believe it feasible to maintain gender balance across the administrative ranks of Florida A&M University? This is clearly one of the most decisive issues that will face FAMU over the next decade. Period.
Gender Bias is Against Black Men at FAMU and not Women
Contrary to the explicit and nuanced assertion made against the FAMU BOT Chairman and contrary to public charges, FAMU's BOT has fostered a dynamic work environment for women to soar in leadership. Allegations of gender bias against FAMU's BOT are a false idea that does not align with the facts.
GENDER BIAS APPEARS TO BE AGAINST BLACK MEN. Will the FAMU BOT stand for a University that is so totally and completely dominated by women?
White Male Control Over FAMU Finances
Oddly, white men and others run the finances of the university in Research, Budget and Finance, Purchasing and key financial roles. Why are all of these positions headed by non-black men? Is there an unwritten BOT or State of Florida mandate that only white men can handle the finances at FAMU? The University's black Athletic Director is over a department that has a nine million dollar deficit. Not much clout there for a brother!
White Contracting and Black Business Castration
Aside from the top paid positions going to black women and white men at FAMU, exactly how little does the black community receive in vending and business opportunities with FAMU? Black vendors have largely given up considering and trying to do business with FAMU because FAMU operates from a perspective that the white man's ice is colder than the black man's ice.
Exactly how much does FAMU spend in doing business with white vendors? Are the opportunities equal? The black businessman, you will discover once you uncover the facts, has also been castrated from business opportunities with this University. Please review the facts over the last decade which solidify and clarify the rate of black attrition among vendors. Does the confederate flag fly over FAMU subverting the doctrines of America's 1964 Civil Rights Act and the EEO policies emanating therefrom?
Can honest, smart, caring black men who love, understand and have sacrificed their hearts and lives for FAMU remain employed and receive promotions or become hired in positions of power, decision making finances and control? As importantly, the firings of native men in key positions such as Coach Clemon Johnson, Coach Earl Holmes and Mr. Keith Miles has created heartache as the soul of FAMU is on the auction block to any and everyone else except native FAMUANS and Tallahasseeans.
1. I am requesting that an investigation is opened to determine how and why gender bias exists at FAMU in its hiring practices on the basis of gender and race.
2. I request the Board to look at the pay differences between gender, race and comparisons of same to determine how greater parity of pay and leadership positions can be achieved for black males at our HBCU immediately.
3. I request that the spending practices of the University be reviewed and that an equitable approach be taken to include black vendors in the contracting world at FAMU.
4. I request that the variables of race and gender be equalized so that black men will no longer be discriminated against and denied leadership roles and contracting opportunities.
Your reflections upon my comments are appreciated. Your positive actions to restore our University's mission will be appreciated even more.
Florida A&M University
Department of Political Science