‘Karla’s Calls’: A University Press Special Investigation Continues at FAU

No one is picking up the phone when Karla Bowsher calls.  After she leaves messages, they aren’t calling back.  They are declining to answer her emails as well.  And they are– quite possibly conveniently– not around when she stops by.

The collective silence from the major power players at Florida Atlantic University– including the president, faculty senate president, and board of trustees chairman– and some Florida government officials speaks volumes about the impact of Bowsher’s recent investigation.

In a full special issue of The University Press published last month, Bowsher and her research partner James Shackelford revealed some unsavory, ironic truths about those in charge of the Palm Beach County public school.

Specifically, she found that the 13 members of the FAU Board of Trustees, which holds ultimate sway over the university’s infrastructure, finances, and future, have bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, liens, lawsuits, instances of real and perceived cronyism, and a number of other cringe-inducing problems in their past and present.

To follow up on the massive report, Bowsher reached out to the board and others atop the FAU and state government hierarchies for comment.  Cue what Bowsher calls “the dodging and runaround.”

In her words, “They wouldn’t even give me a ‘no comment’ and spare me a whole lot of time and trouble.  Instead, they hid from and ignored me so they wouldn’t even have to give so much as a ‘no comment’ comment. . . . [S]o instead of letting all the runaround get me too angry, we whipped out a camera and documented it.”

Along with the video of her unfruitful interview requests– titled “Karla’s Calls“– check out the investigation’s full multimedia follow-up.

Although Bowsher is now moving on from the UP, the former editor-in-chief and special projects editor hopes the staff will continue the investigation come fall.

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