Showing posts with label Trustees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trustees. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

FAMU BOT moves from chair who didn’t understand COE budget shift to one who does

The ouster of former FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Cleve Warren has now led to the university having an acting chair who understands what really happened with the budget authority shift at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

Warren showed that he didn’t understand the issue back when the BOT met on July 21, 2015. He asked President Elmira Mangum if FAMU had controlled the budget for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) before the creation of the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council in 2015. The Joint College of Engineering Governance Council started to claim that it is in charge of the $12.9M budget that year. It is setup in a way that makes it possible for the FSU representatives and Board of Governors (BOG) Chancellor Marshall Criser, III to outvote FAMU on budget decisions.

“For clarity purposes, before the creation of this joint committee, did A&M have control of the budget?” Warren asked.

“My opinion would be that the dean controlled the expenditures of the College of Engineering; FAMU kept account of them,” Mangum said.

Monday, May 23, 2016

FAMU Board of Trustees moves June meeting from Jacksonville to Tallahassee

The FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) has moved its June meeting from Jacksonville to Tallahassee.

Back when Cleve Warren was the BOT chairman, the meeting was set for Thursday, June 9, 2016 to Saturday, June 11, 2016. But Warren left the BOT on May 12 when the Florida Board of Governors declined his application for reappointment. Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson is now the acting BOT chairman.

The meeting, which will also serve as the BOT retreat, will still take place during the previously announced dates. But the change from Jacksonville to Tallahassee suggests that meeting is now taking on a more formal tone.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mangum’s vague 2016-2017 goals reflect her lack of vision

Last week, the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) took President Elmira Mangum to task for the vague goals she presented for May 2016 to April 2017. Those will be the final 11 months of her three-year contract.

The problem reflects the lack of vision that Mangum has as a president.

Back when Mangum was hired, some FAMUans thought her background at Cornell University would make her a champion for building new doctoral programs at FAMU.

But the goals for 2016-2017 that Mangum gave to the BOT Special Committee on Presidential Evaluation failed to include any specific plans for the expansion of doctoral programs that FAMU needs to climb up to “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest research activity” in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Monday, May 16, 2016

FAMU going through fifth BOT chair change in less than 14 months

The chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees has changed five times in less than 14 months. Tensions between the administration of FAMU President Elmira Mangum and top Republican officials in Florida have been at the center of all the shake-ups.

Back on August 23, 2014, the Tallahassee Democrat ran a story that included the following comments that Mangum made about FAMU Trustee Rufus Montgomery, who Gov. Rick Scott appointed in 2011: “Reminded that Montgomery is closely affiliated with Gov. Rick Scott, who appointed him to FAMU’s board, Mangum responded: ‘What does that say about the people that appointed him?’”

The governor won his reelection race just over two months after Mangum made that statement about Rufus in the Democrat. Mangum later agreed to continue the tradition of hosting the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast on the FAMU campus. But Rufus, who was then vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees, said the president refused to let the university reimburse the travel expenses of certain trustees who wanted to attend the prayer breakfast.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Warren was another low-quality trustee with no loyalty to FAMU

For years the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) has declined many excellent applications for the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) in order to appoint low-quality individuals like Cleve Warren. The BOG finally got rid of Warren yesterday after he spent years hurting FAMU.

The end of Warren’s time on the BOT came after he chose to keep silent about FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s slights against top Republican politicians in the state of Florida.

Warren didn’t lift a finger to help when FAMU lost budget authority for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering after 28 years or after the vice-president for audit and compliance reported “potential interference” in his work. He also didn’t speak out about the terrible media relations by the current administration.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hit the road, Cleve! BOG sends FAMU BOT chair packing

FAMU is finally rid of Cleve Warren.

Former FAMU Student Body President Tonnette Graham joined the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) in a unanimous vote to give Cleve the boot from the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) earlier this afternoon. Today was Graham’s last meeting as a member of the BOG. She held a seat on the BOG as part of her duties as chair of the Florida Student Association.

Cleve used his position of BOT chair to defend Mangum. But the BOT will have to elect a new chair to lead the discussion about whether it will renew Mangum’s contract. The BOT must start that discussion by June 30, 2016.  

BOG appoints Harold Mills to FAMU BOT

Today, the Florida Board of Governors appointed Harold Mills to the FAMU Board of Trustees. He replaces Cleve Warren.

Mills most recently served as CEO of ZeroChaos. He left that role on January 1, 2016 and now holds the position of vice-chair of ZeroChaos. Mills also serves on the board of directors for Florida Blue and as chair of Florida Citrus Sports.

The new FAMU trustee holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a master of business administration from Harvard University.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

FAMU down to 2 appointed alumni trustees, UF has 9

University of Florida Board of Trustees in 2015
On Thursday, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) will announce its appointment decision for FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) seat that has been vacant since January 6, 2015.

The governor’s office and BOG have appointed ten alumni to the BOT at the University of Florida. But they have only appointed two alumni to the BOT at Florida A&M, the only public historically black university in the state.  

Monday, May 09, 2016

FAMU run by finance professionals with big accountability problems

The current FAMU president is a former vice-president for budget and planning and the current FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman is a chief financial officer. But both have been at the center of big audit problems in recent months.

Back in October, FAMU Trustee Cleve Warren said he didn’t think the capital improvements that had taken place at the on-campus President’s House after the start date of President Elmira Mangum’s contract in April 2014 were ones that required approval by the BOT.

That claim was at odds with findings of an independent audit by Grant Thornton LLP. Grant Thornton said a $71,529 garage project that began in June 2014 should have been presented to the BOT for a vote before it was started.

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.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Mangum declares Jaylen Smith “interim” SGA president

Yesterday, FAMU President Elmira Mangum announced that Jaylen Smith will serve as the “interim” Student Government Association (SGA) and member of the Board of Trustees (BOT).

Back on March 30, WCTV reported that “the sitting SGA president will serve the remainder of her term, which expires on April 30th. Then, should there be the need, the SGA will follow their order of succession as prescribed in their operating procedures.”

The order for succession in SGA is the vice-president, chief of staff, and then the senate president.

The FAMUan reported on April 27 that Smith, who was just elected as the senate president, would be the interim SGA president because of the delay in finalizing the SGA presidential election.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Washington defends $58,400 cost of external audit

Whether FAMU got its money’s worth from the external audit done by Grant Thornton LLP depends on who you ask.

Last week the chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) Audit & Compliance Committee, Nicole Washington, defended the $58,400 cost of the audit. According to POLITICO Florida, Washington “said that she was comfortable with the cost of the audit and that university staff followed procurement procedures.”

“This process allowed the selection committee to compare costs, among other criteria, when evaluating the proposals,” she said in a statement to POLITICO Florida. “Grant Thornton LLP scored higher on the evaluation, based on the quality of their proposal and the interview. Also, the Grant Thornton LLP quote was less expensive. Based on this information, I do not see the cost as unusual.”

Friday, April 08, 2016

Still no answers for why report summary findings didn’t mention $11,519 door project

FAMU still hasn’t provided answers about why the report summary findings for the independent audit done by Grant Thornton LLP doesn’t mention the $11,519 door project at the on-campus President’s House.

At an emergency Board of Trustees (BOT) conference call on October 22, then-FAMU General Counsel Avery McKnight said the new front door was among four projects above $10,000 that each took place at the President’s House after the start date of President Elmira Mangum’s contract. He said they weren't presented to the BOT for its approval as required by her contract.

The front door project cost $11,519 and had an invoice date of September 23, 2014. The start date for Mangum’s contract was April 1, 2014.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

State auditors report that FSCJ “overpaid Florida Retirement System contributions”

The 2016 state operational audit for Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) by the Florida auditor general reported problems with the payment process the college used for a set of contributions to the Florida Retirement System (FRS).

The finding stated that: “Contrary to Department of Management Services rule and the College’s operating procedures, the College overpaid Florida Retirement System contributions by $12,287 for benefit day payments, totaling $90,994, made to three employees upon their separation from College employment.”

Cleve Warren has served as the financial officer of FSCJ since June 17, 2013. He is also the current chairman of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Report findings don’t match Warren’s 2015 explanation for President’s House renovations

Back in October, FAMU Trustee Cleve Warren said he didn’t think the capital improvements that had taken place at the on-campus President’s House after the start date of President Elmira Mangum’s contract were ones that required approval by the Board of Trustees (BOT). But an independent report by Grant Thornton LLP said that a $71,529 garage project that began in June 2014 should have been presented to the BOT for a vote before it was started.

The BOT scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss the garage and other renovations at President’s House on October 22, 2015. Joe Bakker, who had retired as the interim chief financial officer (CFO), wrote then-CFO Dale Cassidy a letter about the issue two days before that meeting. Bakker said the garage didn’t need BOT approval because it was paid out of Minor Projects Fund dollars.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Questions remain about who proposed garage project at FAMU President’s House

FAMU released the results of an independent report on the controversial addition of a garage to the on-campus President’s House on Saturday. But questions still remain about who proposed the $71,529 project.

An independent report by Grant Thornton, LLP report states that:  “The results of a walkthrough meeting in March 2014 between the University’s Interim VP of Administration and Financial Services and the BOT Facilities Planning Chairman was not formally documented. At that walkthrough meeting, the BOT member recommended that a garage be added to the University owned residence. This meeting was subsequently documented by the University’s Director of Physical Plant in October 2015; however, no formal BOT approval of this project was documented.”

Kendall D. Jones, the FAMU Director of Plant Operations & Maintenance, said in an October 28, 2015 memo that Board of Trustees (BOT) that Facilities Planning Chairman Spurgeon McWilliams participated in the walkthrough on March 13, 2014. But Jones stated that then-BOT Chairman Chuck Badger was the one who proposed a new garage.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Grant Thornton report at odds with Mangum’s claim that BOT “authorized the garage project”

Grant Thornton LLP has released its findings on a $71,529 garage project at the on-campus FAMU President’s House that nearly led to the firing of President Elmira Mangum in October.

The employment agreement between Mangum and the Board of Trustees (BOT) states that: “Dr. Mangum shall obtain prior approval from the Board (or its designee) for any capital improvements or repairs to the home or its grounds which have a project cost over $10,000.” The purchase order for the garage project was made on June 19, 2014, which was after the April 1, 2014 start date of Mangum’s contract.

Mangum sent a memo to the BOT on October 21, 2015 that said that: “I did not have any knowledge nor did I authorize or sign off on the construction of the garage. Upon further inquiry, it was discovered that the Board of Trustees authorized the garage project.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

FAMU BOT narrowly approves Mangum’s request to appeal court ruling on SGA elections

Former Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. votes "no," says trustees weren't given enough information to make a good decision

Yesterday, the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) narrowly approved a request by President Elmira Mangum to appeal a circuit court injunction against a full redo of the Student Government Association presidential (SGA) election. The motion passed with a 7-5 vote.

The “yea” votes were: Chairman Cleve Warren, Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson, Tommy Dortch, David Lawrence, Craig Reid, Nicole Washington, and Robert Woody.

The “no” votes were: Matt Carter, Faculty Senate President Bettye Grable, SGA President Tonnette Graham, Kimberly Moore, and Belvin Perry.

Monday, March 28, 2016

State audit finds problems with “untimely bank account reconciliations” at FSCJ

Florida Auditor General Sherrill F. Norman released her operational audit of Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) on March 11. A finding in that report stated that “the College did not always timely complete bank account reconciliations.”

Cleve Warren, the chairman of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees, is the chief financial officer (CFO) of FSCJ. He has served as the CFO of the college since June 17, 2013 and earns $150,000 per year.  

According to the CFO job description at the college’s website: “The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) provides executive leadership and guidance for all financial aspects of the College… The CFO is also responsible for ensuring that the College financial reports are accurate and completed on time.”

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Belvin Perry, Jr. appointed to FAMU Board of Trustees

Today, Gov. Rick Scott announced the appointment of Belvin Perry Jr. to the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Board of Trustees.

Perry, 66, of Orlando, is an attorney with Morgan and Morgan PA. He currently serves as a member of the Florida A&M University College of Law Board of Visitors and the 100 Black Men of Orlando Inc.