Florida Atlantic University will lose its second student media director in two years on June 18.
Michael Gaede has served as FAU’s student media director since September. He is leaving for personal reasons, including the heat taking a toll on his health, being too far away from his family, and missing being able to teach students.
It took the university six months to find Gaede for the position and 29 months to fill the position previously with Marti Harvey. Harvey also resigned after just a year on the job.
Although the two had different reasons for resigning, adviser Dan Sweeney said he thinks both had trouble adapting to the administration aspect of the job.
“This is my first public sector job and coming from the private sector I was pretty taken back by how many steps are involved to get anything done,” Sweeney said.
In the beginning of the year, Gaede found himself working long days and still having leftover paperwork to finish on weekends. Gaede said he was working up to 85 hours each week.
“[My reason for leaving] is entirely personal,” Gaede said. “I try to give 1,000 percent on everything that I do. A lot of times I can just plow through the mud and nobody knows the difference. But here, I’m running into things that if I don’t do it, the students are going to be affected — and doggone it, I don’t want that to happen. They’re my number one priority.”
Gaede plans to pursue teaching when he returns to Colorado where the rest of his family lives.
“What I’m going to do is I’m going to piece together a career of things that I never really got a chance to finish up in my life,” Gaede said.
Associate Dean Terry Mena will be filling in for Gaede until a new student media director is hired. He said the search process will begin immediately and he hopes to have the position filled by fall.
Mena also served as the temporary student media director between Harvey and Gaede.
Mena said he could not comment on personnel matters.
There has been tension for years between the FAU student newspaper and administration. The previous adviser, Michael Koretzky, was fired in 2010 after 12 years on the job. FAU officials claimed the firing was part of their restructuring of the student media program.
Student editors at the time claimed Koretzky was forced out in an attempt to undercut the newspaper’s aggressive coverage.
Editors were then prohibited from asking Kortezky for advice, though the school later agreed to let him serve as a volunteer adviser. Current University Press Editor-in-Chief Ryan Cortes said Kortezky still comes around.
Cortes also thinks there will be change with an administrator in the position.
“It’s going to be different. Gaede is somebody who you can go to and he’s on our side. Terry Mena is in administration,” Cortes said. “He’s not there to help you advocate your cause so much as he is to make sure nothing blows up.”