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People Watch

People Watch

Appointments, promotions and newsmakers
University Business, Nov 2004

IN THE NEWS: Fred Gainous, president of Florida A&M University, will most likely leave his job at the end of the year. The trustees have voted 9-4 to not renew his contract, citing financial and administrative problems. Of course, the trustees can always change their minds, but several have said it would take a "miracle" to reverse their decision. According to press reports, Florida A&M has had a long history of wasteful business practices and faulty accounting systems that have not improved under Gainous' watch. Gainous, specifically though, has been criticized for delaying the move of the football team to the NCAA Division 1-A and failing to collect on $1.5 million in television fees. He has also left several deans' posts unfilled. In his defense, Gainous says that trustees and faculty have turned against him because of a misperception that he and Gov. Jeb Bush plan to merge the university with Tallahassee Community College or Florida State University. He has said he may resign by year's end... It has been a banner fall for several schools. Real estate developer Stephen Ross gave $100 million to the University of Michigan Business School. The gift, which is the largest for UM and the largest given to any U.S. business school, will be used, in part, to build facilities. The real estate developer is an alum of UM's class of '62... Mark and Becky Lanier gave $6 million to Texas Tech University School of Law to help construct a high-tech mock courtroom. Mark is a senior partner of Lanier Law Firm and a graduate of Texas Tech.

APPOINTED AND PROMOTED: James Oblinger, who has spent 18 years at North Carolina State University, will ascend to the top spot in January. He becomes chancellor, succeeding Marye Anne Fox, who announced in April that she is leaving to become chancellor at the University of California at San Diego. Oblinger, who most recently served as provost and vice chancellor, will focus on fundraising--a necessity in tight times, he says--and expanding research programs. His annual salary is reported to be $274,797... Malcom Yarnell will become president of Louisiana College in January. He has been the assistant dean at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary (Texas)... Janet Begin Richardson has been appointed vice president for Student Affairs, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Mass.). She has been dean of student life... Jill Beck is the new president of Lawrence University (Wis.). She most recently was dean of the School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine, where she helped create ArtsBridge America, a national arts education program that links K-12 and higher education.

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