PantherNOW Editorial Board
Former president Mark B. Rosenberg is returning to FIU, but no longer as a professor. Instead, he’ll retain his $376,000 working in the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy.
His role will include planning curriculum and strategy for the institute, said FIU spokeswoman Maydel Santana. According to original reporting by the Miami Herald, the transition happened when Rosenberg was asked to become one of the designated faculty on an externally funded grant to work with the institute.
The Rosenberg story has been nothing short of tumultuous.
It began with his abrupt resignation, which was originally attributed to his wife’s ailing health.
However, two days later the true reason would be revealed: Rosenberg had been making inappropriate advances to a much younger employee within his office.
Later, when the university announced that he would stay on as a professor, the outcry from students and faculty was emphatic. Both the Hispanic Faculty Association and the Black Faculty would circulate press releases condemning Rosenberg’s reinstatement.
It seemed as if the university would never see a satisfactory resolution to the scandal.
This next chapter, however, is a step in the right direction for FIU.
Handling the situation in respect to Rosenberg’s contract was clearly not a simple task for administration, especially while balancing the needs of faculty and students.
Rosenberg’s new position meets all three of those factors in the middle. Finding a way around the terms of Rosenberg’s contract while ensuring that students aren’t put into a potentially compromising position is key.
Further, though Rosenberg will remain in a position of influence, transitioning him away from a position of official authority reflects well on the university. Allowing someone who abused a position of power into another area of authority says far more about an institution than it may seem, particularly when that position involves students.
Of course, Rosenberg still has influence that will need to be checked in his new role. However, this role will be one away from the average student, and one in which any leadership decision made by Rosenberg would affect solely the research in question, not the students under the Jack D. Gordon School.
FIU, stay the course, listen to your faculty and students: it’s only then that we can enable FIU to be the safe, forward-thinking university we all wish it to be.