Wednesday, September 07, 2016

David supported Joint Council in ending FAMU budget control at engineering college

FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Kelvin Lawson has said that Provost Marcella David could be named as an acting replacement for President Elmira Mangum next week. But David has been at the center of many of the biggest problems that led the BOT to deny Mangum a contract extension.

Last year, David helped Mangum and Florida State University President John Thrasher put an end to the 28 years of FAMU budget control of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

Back in 2015, with Mangum and David’s support, the legislature moved the $12.9M for the COE from the FAMU line to a new budget entity called “FAMU/FSU College of Engineering.” 

Following the transfer, a new Joint College of Engineering Governance Council decided that it was going to start calling the shots on the COE operating budget. This has made it possible for the FSU representatives and BOG Chancellor Marshall Criser, III to now out vote FAMU on budget decisions.

On May 20, 2015, David and the rest of the Joint Council members voted unanimously to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. They did that even though the BOT didn’t take a vote to approve any changes to the university policy stating that FAMU wants to serve as the fiscal agent/budget manager of the COE.

At a July 21, 2015 BOT committee meeting, Mangum tried to downplay the seriousness of the loss of the $12.9M COE budget by claiming that FAMU didn’t have control over that money during the years that those operating dollars were at the university. David has gone along with explanation.

But former President Frederick S. Humphries came before the BOT that October and said that FAMU did control the COE budget after he struck a deal with then-FSU President Bernie Sliger in 1987. He said that the deal gave FAMU control of the budget in exchange for him agreeing to support Innovation Park as the building site for the COE. Humphries told the BOT that the deal was made final by the 1987 “Memorandum of Agreement.”

Mangum helped Thrasher win the longtime battle to stop FAMU from controlling the COE budget. There’s no reason to think that David, who assisted Mangum in carrying out the Thrasher agenda for the COE, will do anything to try and stop the next Thrasher attack against FAMU. 

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