Thursday, August 08, 2013

Badger reelected chairman, Scott gets consolation prize with Rufus as vice-chairman

A nasty behind-the-scenes process is finally over.

Rufus Montgomery, the go-to trustee for Gov. Rick Scott, failed to secure enough votes to win the FAMU chairmanship in the hours leading up to the official beginning of today’s Board of Trustees meeting. The majority of the trustees rebuffed Rufus and reelected Solomon L. “Chuck” Badger, III to another two-year term in the chairman’s seat. Scott did ultimately receive an olive branch from the board members as Montgomery was given the vice-chairmanship.

For the second time, there was heavy outside political pressure for the trustees to replace Badger with Montgomery. The first time was back in March after Badger suspended the presidential search.

But the strong possibility of another gubernatorial run by former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2014 has begun to factor into FAMU’s board votes. Crist originally appointed Badger, Belinda Shannon, and Torey Alston. Scott’s lack of commitment to protecting tenure, attempts to bully trustees, and record of disrespect against FAMU students hasn’t helped his relationship with the board, either.

Badger’s term ends on January 6, 2015, the day of Florida’s gubernatorial inauguration. If reappointed by the winner of the 2014 gubernatorial race, he will lead the board until the August meeting in 2015.

But if Scott is reelected governor, Badger will stand no chance securing a reappointment, which will create a vacancy in the FAMU chairmanship. Rufus, as vice-chairman, will then immediately become the board’s acting leader.

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