Monday, July 13, 2015

Mangum kept FAMU board in the dark about shift of COE fiscal agent duties to FSU

The FAMU Board of Trustees has a policy that states that FAMU wants to serve as the fiscal agent for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). But that didn’t stop the current FAMU administration from telling FSU that it could have those duties.

A press release sent out by the FAMU administration last week said that the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council passed a resolution on May 20, 2015 to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. The FAMU voting representatives on the Council are President Elmira Mangum (or her designee), Provost Marcella David, Vice-President for Research Timothy E. Moore, and Chief Financial Officer Dale Cassidy.

The FAMU press release did not state how the FAMU representatives voted on the resolution. But an investigative story published today by the Florida Times-Union reported that “the committee agreed unanimously” to the change.

According to the newspaper Mangum “said she kept trustees updated about the College of Engineering changes, but backup documentation that she shared with the newspaper shows her report lacked details about the transfer of duties to FSU that raised the most concern.”

The Times-Union also reported that “members of the FAMU board say they have yet to hear directly from Mangum about what she had agreed to — or why.”

This is not the first time that a FAMU president has chosen to go along with a planned transfer of the COE fiscal agent duties to FSU that was inconsistent with university policy.

Back in 2007, Interim President Castell V. Bryant told the Tallahassee Democrat that she had no problem with a legislative plan to make FSU the fiscal agent for the COE instead of FAMU.

The FAMU Board of Trustees met days later to reaffirm its policy that FAMU should be fiscal agent for the COE. It then sent out a press release stating that: “During an emergency meeting of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees Monday (April 9), board members decided in a unanimous vote to let Florida legislators know they want the fiscal control of the joint FAMU-FSU College of Engineering to remain with FAMU.”

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