Is Dawson gone from FAMU Law?
In Tuesday morning's interview with the St. Petersburg Times editorial board, FAMU President James Ammons dropped a minor bombshell: FAMU legal writing director Victoria Dawson, he said, was gone. But is she really? After two days and four requests for more information, we still don't know.
Ammons was asked by one of the editorial board members about a story involving "a legal writing professor at FAMU" whose work was "sub-par." The board member didn't mention the professor by name but was clearly referring to Dawson, whose grammatically impaired academic writing was the topic of a Times story last June and a series of subsequent posts on the Gradebook (click here, here and here for a taste.)
Ammons responded: "She's no longer there. Yeah, I recall the story. It was just as I was coming in." He proceeded to predict that faculty quality would "just spiral under the leadership of (new law school) Dean Pernell."
Immediately after the meeting, the Gradebook asked FAMU spokeswoman Sharon Saunders when Dawson had left and why, and Saunders said she would find out. She did not respond to that request and a subsequent e-mail and so far, the FAMU communications office has not responded to requests yesterday and today.
Dawson is still listed under faculty on the law school's website. And according to a FAMU law student, she was at the law school Monday.
UPDATE: Oops. Here's an e-mail we just received from FAMU spokeswoman Sharon Saunders. She says, "Dr. Ammons made an honest mistake. He believed during the Tuesday morning interview with the St. Petersburg Times that there was a change in the leadership of the program. However, Victoria Dawson is currently employed by the College of Law and continues to direct the legal writing program. According to Dean LeRoy Pernell, the law school is in the process of reviewing and reorganizing the legal writing program. Action will be taken to restructure the program by fall 2008."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter