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Welcome Video Raises Questions About Spending at FSCJ

5:21 AM, May 4, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The 2010 welcome video at Florida State College of Jacksonville was, well, animated.



"You know your gut? That little voice inside your head goes, 'This is going to be really bad,'" asked suspended Vice President of FSCJ Communications Celine McArthur. 

"Great, Don, looks like you've blown another gazillion dollars. Now what are we going to do?" the avatar in the video's opening scene asks. 

McAurthur said she told the administration at the school the video wouldn't look good in the economic climate of 2010.

"I'm listening to this script about wasteful spending, and losing money, and weird massages," she said. 

She compared it to the recent General Services Administration scandal, where federal employees made home videos of themselves wasting taxpayer money.

"But ours was professionally produced, so it's even worse," she said, 

College President Steven Wallace declined to speak on camera, but issued this statement: "The avatar video was done for our 2010 convocation as part of the celebration of our first year as a state college.  It was an internal spoof to add humor to the event.  It caricatured several administrators and gave staff a more personal perspective on the College's leaders."

Students watching the video on campus Thursday failed to see the humor.

"A school form of Enron or something. That they just don't really care," said student Adam Berman. 

Berman fought hard to get a small financial aid package from the school, and said watching them joke about wasting money isn't funny.

"The money is tough to get and it's spoken for, and they just don't care and they're throwing it around," he said. 

But Dr. Wallace defended it. "Videos of this type are not uncommon in large organizations and have been shown to improve staff morale and employment satisfaction.  Accordingly, the College stands behind the production of this video."

But Celine McAurthur did not. She said she insisted the school take the video off the Internet and tried to point out where it went wrong.

"I will sleep at night. I will know that it was not a waste of my time, and I'm done," she said. 


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