Friday, May 06, 2016

May 12th BOG decision on vacant BOT seat carries high stakes for Mangum presidency

The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) will make its decision on whether to reappoint FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Cleve Warren at its meeting on Thursday, May 12th. Warren’s appointment expired on January 6, 2015.

BOG members Norman Tripp and Alan Levine reviewed applications for the seat and will present their recommendation.

The decision on the vacant seat carries high stakes for FAMU President Elmira Mangum. June 30, 2016 is the deadline for a discussion on whether Mangum’s employment will be renewed. She began a three-year contract on April 1, 2014.

The contract between Mangum and the BOT says that: “Dr. Mangum and the Board’s representative shall confer by no later than June 30, 2016 regarding the renewal or extension of this Agreement and if such renewal or extension does not occur, the Parties agree to allow the natural expiration of the term of the Agreement regarding Dr. Mangum’s service as President.” 

Warren is currently the strongest defender that Mangum has on the BOT. But Levine recently said he has serious concerns about recent actions by Mangum.

Back in a Tallahassee Democrat article from March, Levine said Mangum can’t blame the BOT members for her problems in communicating with them.

“When these (communication and governance) issues came up before, we decided we will make changes on the board,” Levine said. “We’ve appointed this new board. There’s no more pointing fingers at this board; no more saying they are micro-managing. It’s not like we are going to appoint a new board. She has important decisions she has to make. The best way is to be communicative with her board.”

The BOG selected Levine to serve as a liaison to FAMU in 2015 after Mangum ran into problems getting her proposed Work Plan approved.

Levine has also raised questions about the way Mangum is dealing with a controversy involving the Student Government Association (SGA) elections.

SGA Vice-President Justin Bruno won the SGA presidential election in February. But Mangum supported a decision by the Student Supreme Court to order a redo of the entire SGA presidential election after the losing candidate, Victor Chrispin, submitted an appeal that claimed there were problems with the election process at the law school in Orlando.

Bruno said he didn’t receive a chance to have a hearing with the Student Supreme Court before the new election was ordered.

“Outside looking in, it appears the president chose to support overturning an election without the appellant having the opportunity to argue his case.  My concern is that the student body president sits on the Board of Trustees, and this issue could have implications on the president,” Levine said in a quote published by the Democrat. “I'm not suggesting the president shouldn't have had a role if the appeal came to her. However, I'm deeply concerned that an aggrieved student was not provided an opportunity to have his day in court. I'd like to better understand why. Elections are serious things and I'm concerned about due process.”

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