Friday, August 19, 2016

Mangum’s best evaluation came from student trustee who wasn’t elected to be SGA president

“Interim” student trustee Jaylen Smith, far left, listens as President Elmira Mangum speaks
The majority of FAMU’s trustees said that President Elmira Mangum’s overall performance was not acceptable in their individual evaluations of her. Seven out of the total 13 board members gave her “Does Not Meet” expectations ratings for most of the categories in her annual job review.

Mangum’s best job ratings came from the student trustee who wasn’t elected by his peers to represent them on the Board of Trustees (BOT).

In April, Mangum announced that Jaylen Smith would serve as the “interim” Student Government Association (SGA) president. The FAMUan reported on April 27 that Smith, who was just elected as the Student Senate president, would be the interim SGA president because of the delay in finalizing the SGA presidential election.

Smith was the only trustee who didn’t give Mangum a “Does Not Meet” expectations rating on any of the evaluation categories. He actually gave her three “Exceeds” expectations ratings, which was the most out of all the board members.

Under the “Personal Characteristics and Values” category, Smith wrote that “FAMU was awarded $25.6 million in performance funding by the Florida Board of Governors [BOG].” But FAMU really received $11,509,132 in performance funds. The remaining $14,066,717 was “institutional investment” money from the legislature that FAMU was able to keep because it met minimum performance standards.

Most of the “marks of excellence” that FAMU received on the BOG performance-funding metrics were actually based on data or work from the 2013-2014 year. Mangum began her contract on April 1, 2014 with about four months to go before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2014. The only “excellence” area that was entirely from Mangum’s first full year in 2014-2015 came from “Bachelor’s degrees awarded within programs of strategic emphasis.” That went down by 1.5 percent.

Smith didn’t use the title “interim” in his title when he emailed his individual evaluation in to the BOT liaison on July 18. He simply called himself the SGA “President University Board of Trustee” even though FAMU students didn’t elect him to that position.

The FAMU administration also plans to hold an “SGA Inauguration” ceremony on August 21 despite the fact that the presidential election hasn’t been settled.  

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.

“Dr. Elmira Mangum agreed with the (opponents’) appeal,” Bruno said in a quote published in the Tallahassee Democrat. “That is to manipulate the election on behalf of the (FAMU) administration and other administrators.”

On Thursday, March 24, Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper granted a request by Bruno for a temporary injunction to stop a redo of the whole SGA presidential election in both Tallahassee and the law school campus in Orlando. Cooper agreed with Bruno that the new election should only take place in Orlando where voting-day problems were reported.

Mangum cancelled the new election that was scheduled to take place at the law school on Tuesday, March 29. On the next day, she asked the BOT to support an appeal of the decision by Cooper. The BOT narrowly approved the request by a 7-5 vote. The 1st District Court of Appeal found on August 15 that the FAMU administration didn’t break any laws when it backed the Student Supreme Court’s decision and threw out Cooper’s injunction.  

FAMU hasn’t made an announcement about when a new election will finally be held. But the fact that the BOT said Mangum only met 64 percent of expectations overall shows that even Smith’s help isn’t enough to give her a boost as she continues her uphill battle to get a contract extension. Mangum’s employment agreement is set to end April 1, 2017.

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