The Leadership Saga at Florida A&M University

elmira-mangum-thumbElmira Mangum, president of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee was called to an emergency meeting of the board of trustees where some members of the board questioned some of her actions. Trustees questioned the appropriation of nearly $400,000 for improvements at the president’s university-owned residence and the payment of a bonus to a university official. President Mangum referred to the allegations as a “witch hunt.” During the three-and-a-half-hour meeting students marched to the State Capitol building in support of President Mangum.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the trustees voted 7-5 against a motion to fire Dr. Mangum with cause. A second motion to fire the president without cause, a motion that if passed would have required a large financial payout to Dr. Mangum, was deadlocked at 6-6. As a result, President Mangum will remain as president of Florida A&M University.

Dr. Mangum released a statement after the votes that said: “I would like to thank the members of the Board of Trustees, our students, alums, and friends for their support. My commitment to this University is stronger than ever. I am committed to working with all of our stakeholders to enhance the educational experience of our students, and ensure that this University operates at the most effective and efficient level possible.

TrusteeMontgomeryThe day after the board meeting, Rufus Montgomery, chair of the board of trustees, announced that he would step down as chair but remain on the board until his term expires in January. In a statement, Montgomery said, “An expected spirit of cooperation with the Board’s responsible efforts to hold the President accountable has not materialized and is not likely to occur with the current Board. Successful navigation of major short and long-term challenges facing FAMU require an effective working relationship between the Board chair and the university president. The current relationship is broken and irreparable.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a travesty for the institution, faculty and students. Realing from a major reputation buster, the institution was able to hire President Mangum from one of the country/world’s leading institutions based upon her skills and abilities. To subject her and the students/faculty to this “mess” does not do justice to this historically valuable institution for our culture and people. I hope that the remaining board members realize what they have and let President Mangum do the job that she was hired to do and that she is dedicated to doing. There is no doubt in my mind that she can or will have opportunities available to her at the nation’s top institutions. Keep her and let her continue to restore and enhance the reputation of this great historically Black institution.

  2. This is another example of Boards of Trustees being our own worst enemies at HBCUs. Look at what SCSU’s board did. Most need training with regards to what their duties, limitations and obligations are. Many have no administrative experience and their appointment is just a political pay-off. HBCUs deserve better.

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