Monday, October 21, 2013

FAMU trustees never voted to bar interim president from being considered for permanent position

FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) President Tommy Mitchell should immediately send FAMU a records request per Chapter 119 of the Florida Statues. He should ask for copies of the tapes and/or typed transcripts from the FAMU Board of Trustees meetings held on July 16, 2012 and August 15, 2012 and then upload them to the NAA website.

FAMU trustees NEVER voted to restrict the current interim president from being considered for the permanent position and the public release of those records will help put a stop to all of the inaccurate information that says otherwise.

Chuck Badger, the FAMU board chairman, created unnecessary confusion by telling the Tallahassee Democrat that the trustees adopted a policy that prevents Interim President Larry Robinson from being appointed to lead FAMU on a permanent basis.

“All the trustees would have to do is remove the restriction on Dr. Robinson from being an applicant,” he told the newspaper.

The problem is that the board never voted to establish any such restriction in the first place.

FAMU trustees discussed Robinson’s appointment two times. The first time was during a July 16, 2012 conference call at which the board voted to appoint Robinson to the interim presidency. The second time was during an August 15, 2012 in-person meeting on the FAMU campus at which the board voted to confirm Robinson’s selection.

The full board voted to accept the minutes of those two meetings. Typed copies of those minutes are currently posted on famu.edu. Neither set of minutes contains any record of a board vote to restrict Robinson from being considered for the permanent presidency.

When FAMU trustees confirmed Robinson’s appointment on August 15, 2012, Badger informed the board that Robinson had said that he wasn’t going to apply to become the 11th president of FAMU. But the board never took a vote to restrict Robinson from being appointed as the permanent president.

FAMU should go forth with the presidential search and seek the very best candidates possible. But it is important to remember that the FAMU presidential application pools in 2007 and 2013 were poor, overall. If FAMU ends up with another subpar applicant list in 2014, then the board still has the option to keep Robinson in place with either an interim or permanent designation.

FAMU has seen too many presidential search processes compromised by gubernatorial cronies who use under-the-table shenanigans in their efforts to try and seat a spineless “Yes-man” in Lee Hall. It is critical that FAMU protect itself against this threat by retaining the flexibility to extend Robinson’s period of service as long as needed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Umm, aren't you suppose to do the public records request and tell us. o_O.....back in the day Rattler Nation would have the transcripts/minutes attached to the story. #foodforthought