A few days before Proctor, a political science instructor at FAMU, was the subject of a front-page story in the July 11 St. Petersburg Times, he e-mailed his response to a series of follow-up questions. He didn't actually answer any of the follow-ups, but he did go on to say he had the credentials "to actually become the President of Florida State University or the University of Florida" and that if Florida had other instructors with similar credentials "we would produce awesome citizens who are well informed and empowered to be competent citizens in their respective communities."
FAMU hired Proctor as a visiting professor in 2000 and has kept him on the job despite a string of embarrassing headlines. The Times story noted, among other things, that in 1995, Proctor was essentially fired from his job as a special assistant to late Gov. Lawton Chiles; that he failed to pass the Florida bar exam; and that he had been reprimanded by a FAMU dean in 2001 for skipping class. Should any of that raise concerns about questionable hiring at FAMU? Proctor doesn't think so.
Here is Proctor's e-mail to the Times, which he copied to several high-ranking FAMU officials. Here is the entire letter he submitted to the Times after the story ran (the version published on July 18 had been trimmed slightly for length.) Here is a podcast of a radio appearance he made after the story ran. And here is the Tallahassee Democrat's coverage of that appearance.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter