FAMU journalism division director speaks out about Famuan situation

As I mentioned in my Wednesday story, journalism administrators have been pretty tight-lipped since news broke that the school’s dean had suspended publishing of The Famuan while requiring editors to reapply for their positions and attend training sessions.

This morning, I heard back from Valerie White, the director of the school’s journalism division. White was responsible for overseeing the editor application and selection process, Dean Ann Kimbrough told me in an email last week. White issued the following statement:

“Concerning the issues at hand, there isn’t much I can say right now due to the lawsuit, FERPA and privacy concerning personnel matters.

I wrote a note to faculty on Jan. 16 urging them to refer all requests for comments to the Office of Communications or the University General Counsel. The new adviser was announced in that communication to faculty and to students at the training on Friday. I understand that Kanya Simon Stewart spoke and entertained questions. I was away on family medical leave.

The decision to delay the first issue of The Famuan was made in an effort to preserve The Famuan, but a few students made it about them instead of seeing the big picture.

Some of the information that has been reported is not true. And the truth will come out, but not right now due to pending litigation.”

I’ve asked White to clarify some of these points, and will update as I learn more.