Thursday, April 27, 2017

David comes up short in pursuit of Montana State provost job

Marcella David, who served as provost under former FAMU President Elmira Mangum, recently came up short in her pursuit of the provost’s job at Montana State University. She was one of five candidates who received an invitation for an on-campus interview for the position.

President Waded Cruzado opted to appoint Robert “Bob” Mokwa, who has served as interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost since June 2016, to continue in the job on a permanent basis.

“Dr. Mokwa brings a deep understanding of the land-grant mission of research, teaching and outreach to the job,” Cruzado said in a press release.

David held the provost’s position at FAMU from February 2015 until she was terminated effective September 19, 2016, five days after Mangum went on administrative leave as part of an exit agreement with the Board of Trustees.

David was at the center of numerous public complaints that FAMU faculty members had about the Mangum administration.

In her 2014-2015 evaluation of Mangum, some of Faculty Senate President and BOT member Bettye A. Grable’s biggest criticisms were about a lack of shared governance.

Grable wrote that “the decision to move the [FAMU-FSU College of Engineering’s] budget control to FSU was based on a unilateral approval without the prior approval by the Board of Trustees and other constituents.”

David was a member of the new Joint College of Engineering Governance Council that helped FSU President John Thrasher put an end to the 28 years of FAMU budget control of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). The decided in 2015 that it was going to start calling the shots on the COE operating budget. 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.

Grable said in her 2015-2016 evaluation of Mangum that the lack of shared governance was still a problem. She wrote that: “There are still committees/former councils that exclude faculty from their proceedings such as the former dean's council as specified in the University Constitution and By-Laws.”

The dean’s council is part of the Division of Academic Affairs that was headed by David while she was the provost.

There were also faculty members who said that David treated them in an unprofessional manner.

On June 3, 2016, FAMU School of Business and Industry Professor Annette Singleton Jackson wrote an open letter to the faculty that included the details of some of her own experiences with David.

“I personally dropped into the Provost’s office, only to be treated like persona non-grata,” Jackson wrote. “When I emailed for an appointment, that request was ignored. When trustees lauded my achievement of a pending Fulbright Award during a Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee meeting, our provost rolled her eyes. Nice touch, by the way, and a great way to win friends and influence people and show your maturity and respect of the faculty and our accomplishments.”

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