Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Job performance, not politics, should be basis for decisions on deans

Concerns about whether four FAMU deans will soon be shown the door for reasons that have nothing to do with the university’s best interests have grown on campus in the wake of the questionable exits of two other deans in 2015.

At the June meeting of the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT), School of Business and Industry (SBI) Professor Clyde Ashley warned that four current deans might be targeted. He said those individuals were School of Architecture and Engineering Technology Dean Rodner B. Wright, SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean Michael D. Thompson, and School of Journalism and Graphic Communication Dean Ann L. Wead Kimbrough.

Ashley’s comments come at a time when a growing number of FAMU professors are speaking out about the way President Elmira Mangum and Provost Marcella David are running the Division of Academic Affairs. There have also been faculty complaints accusing the administration of trying to harm the tenure system, toss aside shared governance, and bully student reporters at The FAMUan.

The abrupt resignations of College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell and FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) Dean Yaw D. Yeboah last year have only added to doubts about whether Mangum and David are committed to the fair treatment of professors.

Monday, July 25, 2016

June 2016: SBI professor warns BOT about possible targeting of 4 FAMU deans

At the June 10, 2016 meeting of the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT), School of Business and Industry Professor Clyde Ashley told board members about the possible targeting of four deans at the university.

Ashley didn’t go into details about what he meant when he said the deans were “being targeted.” But the four deans he mentioned during his two-minute speech in the public comments section of the meeting were School of Architecture and Engineering Technology Dean Rodner B. Wright, SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean Michael D. Thompson, and School of Journalism and Graphic Communication Dean Ann L. Wead Kimbrough.

President Elmira Mangum didn’t comment on the issue at the BOT meeting.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

“Black and Blue Lives Matter” panel brings students and law enforcement officials together

A discussion centered on unity and understanding took place at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) on July 13 at Charles Winter Wood Theatre.

The conversation entitled, “Healing Voices: Black and Blue Lives Matter,” included a variety of professional panelists such as law enforcement officials and University professors. The forum, which was open to all members of the campus and local communities, provided an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and weigh in on the discussion.

President Elmira Mangum believes hosting the forum on campus provided an opportunity to discuss events taking place across the nation and review possible resolutions, including those already suggested during previous programs.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

FAMU Foundation receives $6.5M in contributions for 2015-2016

The Florida A&M University Foundation, Inc. finished the 2015-2016 year with a total of $6.5 million in contributions.

A press release by FAMU stated that “this is the largest single-year fundraising total in Florida A&M University’s 128-year history, only exceeding the $5.8 million raised in 2014-2015 after a renewed focus was placed on fundraising under the leadership of President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D.”

$5 million of the $5.8 million in 2014-2015 came from a gift by John W. Thompson, an alumnus of the School of Business and Industry (SBI) and chairman of the Microsoft Corporation Board of Directors. That donation was the result of a negotiating process led by SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud and her team that followed the fundraising model of founding SBI Dean Sybil C. Mobley. The negotiations took years to complete.

The FAMU press release didn’t include a breakdown of the gifts for the 2015-2016. But SBI continues to be a big source of university fundraising.

On May 26, 2016, Hershey Company Chairman Jim Nevels visited SBI and discussed his company’s decision to donate $1 million to FAMU to establish the Mobley Hershey Endowed Chair. He said Hershey’s great admiration for Mobley’s work led it to make that contribution to FAMU.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

FAMU student addresses environmental justice

Devin Crowther hadn’t begun classes in the School of the Environment before he decided to become an agent of change and fight against environmental justice issues.

While presenting at the third annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Climate Change Conference in New Orleans, his interest was piqued. He said learning about how lower income victims of Hurricane Katrina were moving into a stretch of land along the Mississippi River known as a “petrochemical corridor” or “cancer alley” near 150 industrial plants inspired him to spring into action.

“I got to see with my own eyes the conditions that underprivileged people lived in and it inspired me to do something about it,” Crowther said. “I decided to become an environmental lawyer to help bring about change by way of public policy, regulations and case law.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

FAMU’s oldest alumna passes away at age 107

Gussie Williams Mallory, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) oldest alumna has passed away after recently celebrating her 107th birthday.

Mallory, a native of Jefferson County Fla. and retired educator, began her teaching career in the 1920’s at Howard Academy High School. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lawson finishes June with $171K, Brown closes month with $99K

Fifth Congressional District of Florida (CD5) candidate Alfred “Al” Lawson finished the January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 reporting cycle with $171,771 in cash on hand. That was $72,133 ahead of incumbent U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who had $99,638.

Both contenders are graduates of Florida A&M University and are seeking the Democratic nomination in the newly redrawn district, which now runs from Duval to Gadsden Counties.

The two candidates are also relying heavily upon personal loans. Lawson gave his campaign a $100,000 loan and Brown gave her campaign a $50,000 loan.