Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ammons’ FAMU support remains strong amid NCCU-New Birth flap

Despite a recent flurry of negative publicity, FAMU President James Ammons is still standing tall. With spirited public outpourings of support, FAMU students, faculty, alumni, and trustees are rallying around the man who pulled the institution back from the brink of extinction.

The issue behind the critical headlines: an unauthorized North Carolina Central University satellite campus that was established at a Lithonia, Ga. megachurch while Ammons served as president of that institution.

When approached for a comment by St. Petersburg Times reporter Ron Matus, FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Bill Jennings stated that he was “not overly concerned about what happened up there.”

Instead Jennings pointed to Ammons’ success in cleaning up the mess he inherited from former Interim President Castell Bryant, an individual whom the Times’ editorial board consistently praised. “I'm concerned about (Ammons') performance over the past 12 months at A&M,” Jennings continued. “And it's really been outstanding.”

The NCCU satellite campus opened in fall 2004 at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta and awarded bachelor’s degrees to 25 students. NCCU administrators shut down the program this year after discovering that it had not received approval from the university’s Board of Trustees, University of North Carolina system officials, or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

39 students were still enrolled at the time NCCU’s new leadership closed the campus.

SACS President Belle Wheelan is in discussions with NCCU about the possibility of retroactively legitimizing the 25 degrees that were conferred. The university has until September 19th to make its case.

In addition to mending fences with SACS, NCCU must also smooth edges with the U.S. Department of Education. Since unaccredited programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, NCCU has to repay all the federal loan money it provided to New Birth students. The total sum is not known at this time.

New Birth Pastor Eddie Long was a trustee at NCCU during Ammons’ tenure. In July, he was elected to FAMU’s Foundation board of directors.

Nonetheless, there are few signs that the NCCU-New Birth controversy has eroded the FAMU community’s confidence in Ammons. Two weeks ago, a capacity crowd greeted him with a standing ovation and roaring cheers at the President’s Convocation in Gaither Gymnasium. Thousands are expected to fill the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center for Ammons’ inauguration on October 31.

Hired in 2007, Ammons guided FAMU from probation to good standing with SACS and earned the first unqualified state audit in three years.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a faculty member -- and have been one for a numbr of years. No one has ever asked me or my colleagues to comment on any issues, and I/we attend University functions on a consistent basis. Where are all of these "faculty" commentaries coming from? Must be from the same folk who the "pollsters" always go to for responses. Seems kind of an subjective to me.

Anonymous said...

correction on my ^^ post: "number"

Anonymous said...

If any of you faculty members have something to say, say it to Dr. Ammons. You have a faculty representative and as far as I know, he hasn't bombarded Dr. Ammons with any faculty complaints. You can't make everybody happy. Hell, I complain about my manager everyday, but it could be worst. So do the best you can in making a positive difference in FAMU.

Anonymous said...

Two words, Eddie Long. Anything dealing with I find shady.

Anonymous said...

8:38, there are plenty of faculty members who "say it to Ammons," only to see little done in the short run or the long run, even. If you are not a faculty member there, then you don't come here telling folks what a faculty member can/should/ought to do/might do. There's a culture there that perhaps you are not privvy to (and a bit different from, say, an 8-5 profession). Stick to your complaining about your manager "everyday." So far, has all that "everyday complaining" gotten you anywhere?

Anonymous said...

WOW! Ignorance is truly bliss! Ammons is no savior in the sense of JC but look where we were and where we are now. One does not have to be a faculty member to make a comment concerning complaining.

I am no butcher but that doesnt mean I have to stick my head up a bulls asz to know whether a steak is good or bad either.

So if FAMU under Ammons is so bad then leave! Or better yet do something about it!

Anonymous said...

Some of the FAMU faculty believes Ammons is Moses. But you are in for rude awakening. BEWARE! This is not the man you guys think he is.

Anonymous said...

WOW, Rattler Nation I applaud you for finally addressing the NCCU/New Birth issue. However, you found it necessary to put a flip on it by coating Dr. Ammons in a positive light. Grape is a favorable drink for Kool-Aid drinkers. I admire how Bishop Long has not made a statement but I bet he has reconsidered his relationship with Dr. Ammons. Also, for a Board Member not to care about what had transpired at NCCU is very sick! So, he's saying if Dr. Ammons committed fraud it doesn't matter because its how he turned FAMU around is what matters??? Sick! I see alot of legacy is riding on FAMU's success... No wonder so many Kool-Aid drinkers were at the interview for Dr. Ammons... Strike, Strike, Strike Again!

Anonymous said...

...spoken like someone who supports Mccain. I'm sure others, like me, can fact find on our own. All of a sudden you depend on RattlerNation to be "FAIR and BALANCED". This is not Bossip, TMZ, or FOX NEWS. Contribute to FAMU not the DISH. I guess you'd like to "protect" marriage too. LOL Think HOW not WHY.

Anonymous said...

2:09, who said anything about FAMU "being so bad"? Talk about ignorance in understanding (or not, apparently). Why don't YOU "do something about it"? What have YOU done lately -- other than run that mouth of yours???

Anonymous said...

Rattler Nation do you report to Sharon Saunders? Is this an independent blog? Damn, get off Ammons dick and tell us something we didn't read about in the Democrat a month ago. Let Cassie go. She and everyone who worked for her totally consume your thoughts. She has been gone for a good while now. Let her go! Please. Right now she owns your behind. I used to enjoy reading this blog and found it relevant, however now you have just become Ammons personal a$$ Kisser. He has enough cheerleaders, we need effective reporting. That's why Humphries was able to lead us to self destruction. No one was holding him accountable except for Larry Tait. Where is Larry at, he needs to help you out brother, you slipping? Do to Ammons what you did to Gainous and Cassie and people will respect you. If you scared, say you scared. Then close the blog down and move on. Stay true to you obvious objective, which was to destroy Gainous and Cassie, otherwise man up and provide us intricate details of what is really happening at our beloved universities. Find out whatever happen to the employees who said they weren't giving those over paid check amounts back and how much the university owes the state or why the average gpa for our incoming freshman is lower than any other SUS college. Find out how much we are spending on the Presidents inaugural during these hard economic times and where those funds could be used instead of throwing a party for the president that cost well over a half a million dollars? I have provided you with some leads now get to work.

Anonymous said...

I respect you 12:02am. I'm behind what you are saying. Like you, I am not blind by Ammons, like the othes butt kissers.

Anonymous said...

Sharon Saunders is da rattler.