Back on May 20, the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council unanimously passed a resolution to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. The FAMU voting representatives on the Council are Mangum (or her designee), Provost Marcella David, Vice-President for Research Timothy E. Moore, and Chief Financial Officer Dale Cassidy. FAMU had served as the fiscal agent for the COE for 28 years.
That change was made with a vote of approval from the FAMU Board of Trustees.
Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson brought the issue up during a meeting of the Special Committee on Governance on August 5. He gave the other trustees a set of pages from the rules of the Commission on Colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and asked them to look at “Section 3: Comprehensive Standards.”
“Section 3” includes a rule that says the policy-making job of the board of a school must remain distinct from the job of the administration to oversee the execution of policies. Lawson said that rule could give the FAMU Board of Trustees a way to challenge what the Joint Council did.
“We may have recourse to challenge that organization as implementing policy,” he said.
Lawson added that: “What was done in the Joint Council was a setting of policy for both schools…We do have recourse on this issue if we choose as a board.”
Mangum was present at the committee meeting. She said that the Joint Council hadn’t set a policy for the COE.
“It was an administrative decision about who handles the parts of the operation,” Mangum said. “It was a management decision.”
But Lawson and Chairman Rufus Montgomery disagreed.
“When it is a $13 million decision, that is a policy decision,” the chairman said.
The chairman and vice-chairman asked a number of FAMU offices, including the Office of the General Counsel, to look into the issue.