Saturday, December 10, 2016

FAMU College of Law alumna elected judge in Brevard County

By Robin Holmes
FAMU College of Law

Kelly McCormack Ingram, a 2008 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) College of Law, has been elected Brevard County judge in Group 2. Ingram was elected during the general election on Nov. 8.

“The reason I ran for judge is that I want to be in position to do what’s right,” said Ingram, who will be assigned to the misdemeanor criminal court.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Graham may face primary battle in race for Democratic gubernatorial nomination

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham still hasn’t officially announced a decision about whether she will seek the Democratic nomination for the Florida governorship in 2018. But some both inside and outside of the party are already treating her like she’s the frontrunner.

Back during a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Tallahassee on November 7, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden made encouraging remarks about the possibility of Graham winning the Governor’s Mansion. Her father, Bob Graham, served as the governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987.

“Gwen Graham, great congresswoman who I predict may be your next governor down here,” Biden said.

The Republican Governors Association also appears to see her as the likely Democratic nominee. Yesterday, it released a statement taking jabs at her on the issue of “transparency.”

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Financial problems caused by enrollment decline shake Bennett College

Back in 2007, Bennett College was thriving. Its president was none other than the legendary Johnnetta Cole, whom had led it out from the enrollment-related financial problems that prompted the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to place the school on probation. 

Cole took Bennett from a $3.8M deficit, mainly caused by a 37 percent drop in enrollment over the four years before she arrived, to a $300,000 surplus by the end of her first fiscal year in 2003. By the time she retired in 2007, she had taken enrollment up to about 600.

Enrollment at Bennett later reached an all-time record of 780 in 2010 under President Julianne Malveaux.

But earlier this fall, Bennett President Rosalind Fuse-Hall resigned in the midst of severe budget cuts caused by a continuing decline in enrollment. She had been appointed to the presidency in 2013 after having served as FAMU’s chief of staff and executive director of Title III programs.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Meyers had strong enrollment management skills that Mangum lacked

At her last FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, then-President Elmira Mangum defended her enrollment decline that cost the university millions of dollars.

“Quantity does have to be sacrificed in order to get quality,” she told the BOT.

The enrollment trends at public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) like North Carolina A&T University (NCA&T) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) show that the claim Mangum made isn’t true.

NCA&T Chancellor Harold Martin and the late NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White didn’t place quality aside as they expanded enrollment. Both succeeded in reversing the enrollment declines at their schools while also bringing in freshmen classes that had 3.0+ average GPAs.

Carolyn Meyers was another top administrator at a public HBCU who enlarged the quantity of her student body without any negative effect on quality.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Florida Times-Union: Robinson’s appointment a strong choice to move FAMU in right direction

Yesterday, the Florida Times-Union editorial board said that the appointment of Larry Robinson as interim president at Florida A&M University is a positive step toward moving the school in the right direction.

From “FAMU seems to be getting back on track”:

…In the aftermath of [former President Elmira Magnum’s] negotiated departure from the school, there is a fresh opportunity for FAMU to unify as an academic family.

And the university must seize and capitalize on the moment.

There are good signs that is happening. The university has named Larry Robinson, a renowned chemist and longtime FAMU professor, as its interim president.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Inadequate enrollment went uncorrected while Warren was chair at Profectus, FAMU

Corey Alston and Cleve Warren were two individuals with unimpressive professional records who still managed to get appointed to the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) due to politics. Both were also connected to serious financial controversies involving Florida charter schools.

The Obama Academy for Boys and Red Shoe Charter School for Girls co-founded by Alston closed in 2015 after Broward County Public Schools found big financial accountability problems at the institutions. The Valor Academy of Leadership and Virtue Arts and Science Academy co-founded by Warren will close on December 21 following dire financial problems found by Duval County Public Schools.

Warren is the chairman of the Profectus Learning Systems Board of Directors that runs the two Duval County-based academies, which offer single-gender middle schools and high schools. He admitted that the schools ran into trouble because they didn’t enroll enough students.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Financial problems lead to closure of charter schools run by company Warren chairs

Four Jacksonville charter schools run by a company chaired by Cleve Warren will close on December 21 due to financial problems caused, in part, by inadequate enrollment.

Warren and other members of the Profectus Learning Systems Board of Directors, which operates the schools, announced on December 1 that they had “made the unanimous decision to surrender the schools’ charters.”

“Ultimately, it would not have been in our families’ and students’ best interests to continue operating our schools at a significant financial deficit,” Warren said.