PB Post: “FAU Stepping on its Reputation”

April 7, 2013. “FAU has conducted a seven-week class for all 30,000 students, the faculty and the wider community in how the university sets its priorities and reacts during a crisis. The lessons have been impossible to miss.”

By Randy Schultz

Editor of the Editorial Page

George Zoley has two degrees from Florida Atlantic University. Deandre Poole has two degrees from Florida Atlantic University. Consider how FAU has treated these alums over the last seven weeks.

Mr. Zoley is chairman of The Geo Group, whose headquarters are across Interstate 95 in Boca Raton from FAU. The 18,000-employee company runs prisons and detention facilities in the United States and four foreign countries. Dr. Poole is a second-year instructor in FAU’s School of Communication & Multimedia Studies. He works on an annual contract.

Each alum has been part of a big news story involving his alma mater. Through his company’s charitable foundation, Mr. Zoley offered FAU $6 million for naming rights to the football stadium. Through one of his classes, Dr. Poole offered his students an exercise in symbols and tolerance. Each offering went bad, in its own way.

News of GEO’s advertising deal, announced Feb. 19, sparked a controversy that made FAU look clueless. Faced with questions about GEO’s documented mistreatment of inmates and detainees, President Mary Jane Saunders and Board of Trustees Chairman Anthony Barbar defended the company with platitudes. George Zoley is a former board chairman. GEO hires FAU graduates.

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