FAU President Forced to Resign


After serving as the sixth president of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for three years, Mary Jane Saunders resigned late Tuesday, amid a series of controversies that have plagued the university in recent months, including the 'Jesus Stomping Incident' and naming rights agreement.

"There is no doubt the recent controversies have been significant and distracting to all members of the University community. The issues and the fiercely negative media coverage have forced me to reassess my position as the President of FAU. I must make choices that are the best for the University, me and my family," Saunders said.

The proposal to name a football stadium after a private prison company in exchange for a $6 million donation attracted a lot of protests, wherein Saunders was accused of injuring a student during one of the demonstrations with her car's side mirror while trying to leave the university's Jupiter campus.

These incidents prompted Saunders to employ police personnel and a bodyguard, since many complaints and harassing letters started pouring in, threatening her personal safety.

The Board of Trustees will soon initiate a hunt and name an interim president by fall semester. However, Saunders is set to retain a job on campus, with 80 percent of her salary. She has been asked to essay the role of a College of Science professor with approximately $276,000.

"She attended every athletic game, arts performance and FAU-sponsored event that she could. Throughout her time as President, she consistently demonstrated a genuine love for the University, its students and the community. We thank President Saunders for her service and dedication to the university," FAU Board of Trustees Chair Anthony K. G. Barbar said.

Apart from the stomping incident and naming rights agreement, the university was negatively publicized after a professor stated that the both Sandy Hook mass shooting and Boston Marathon bombings were some sort of pranks by the government.

Last month, James Tracy, a tenured associate professor of media history and analysis studies, wrote a blog post on his personal account saying that the recent Boston bombings that killed three and injured nearly 264 were a planned casualty drill by the government.

An excerpt of the post:

"In short, the event closely resembles a mass-casualty drill, which for training purposes are designed to be as lifelike as possible. Since it is mediated, however, and primarily experienced from afar through the careful assemblage of words, images and the official pronouncements and commentary of celebrity journalists, it has the semblance of being, for all practical purposes, 'real.'

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