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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rufus’ support on FAMU Board of Trustees remaining steady as Mangum’s declines

Rufus Montgomery appears to be headed to an easy reelection as the chairman of the FAMU Board of Trustees next week.

Back on April 8, Rufus won the race to serve out the remainder of the term of former Chairman Chuck Badger. Badger left the Board of Trustees on March 27, 2015 when Gov. Rick Scott replaced him with new Trustee Robert Woody.

Badger had been a supporter of FAMU President Elmira Mangum.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mangum likely to have few defenders left on FAMU Board of Trustees by January

The next round of term expirations on the FAMU Board of Trustees could make it even harder for Elmira Mangum to keep her administrative ship above water.

Back in April, Rufus Montgomery won the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees with a 9-4 victory against Cleve Warren. The vote count showed the split between the trustees who were supporters of Mangum and those who either want her gone or appear to be losing patience with her.

Rufus has been Mangum’s biggest headache on the Board of Trustees since her contract negotiations last year. He was a leader in the unsuccessful attempts to set her starting salary at $325,000 instead of the $425,000 she wanted and also to try to deny her a tenured position in the FAMU College of Education.

Mangum and Rufus went on to clash at Board of Trustees meetings with Rufus telling her during an August 11, 2014 conference call that the board could cut off her microphone. According to a Tallahassee Democrat article that ran later that month: “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?’”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tensions rise over Mangum’s treatment of FAMU faculty

Back in 2014, several of the semi-finalists for the FAMU presidency had records that showed they had very little respect for college faculty. Elmira Mangum was not one of them and that helped her get the job.

But now, a growing number of the FAMU faculty members who gave their support to the vote to appoint Mangum that year are expressing disappointment about the way she is treating FAMU professors.

Faculty Senate President and Board of Trustees member Bettye A. Grable gave Mangum a “Does Not Meet Expectations” rating for eight of the 11 questions in her presidential evaluation. Some of her biggest criticisms were about a lack of shared governance by the administration.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mangum’s attempts to mend fences with Scott too little, too late

Gov. Rick Scott could make Elmira Mangum’s problems with the FAMU Board of Trustees go away with only a minimal amount of effort on his part. But she doesn’t have much of a chance of getting any help from him after what she said last year.

Back on August 23, 2014, the Tallahassee Democrat ran a story that included the following comments that Mangum made about Trustee Rufus Montgomery: “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?’”

Scott appointed Rufus to the FAMU Board of Trustees back in 2011. 

That statement to the Tallahassee Democrat might have seemed like a good idea to Mangum back when the polls were showing that Scott was in a neck-and-neck race with former Gov. Charlie Crist for the governorship. But Scott won his bid for reelection just over two months after that statement was published.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trustees take Mangum to task for supporting shift of $12.9M engineering budget to FSU

Yesterday, members of the FAMU Board of Trustees took President Elmira Mangum to task for her claim that they had given her the flexibility to decide whether FAMU would keep the fiscal agent duties for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

On May 20, 2015, Mangum and the other voting representatives on the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council unanimously passed a resolution to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. FAMU had served as the fiscal agent for the COE for 28 years.

“There was a statement made by a senior administrator that the board supported this decision,” said Vice-Chairman Kelvin Lawson. “You hear from the comments that this isn’t true.”

Lawson’s statement appeared to be in response to a quote by FAMU Vice President for Communications Jimmy Miller that was in the Tallahassee Democrat last week. Miller said the change made with the resolution was consistent with what the FAMU board “authorized” during a February meeting.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mangum administration says FAMU needs COE deanship, but agreed to let FSU professor be interim dean

Back on May 20 the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) unanimously passed a resolution that said the fiscal agent duties for the college would transfer from FAMU to Florida State University on July 1. The Governance Council, which includes voting representatives from the FAMU administration, went forward with that action even though the FAMU Board of Trustees has a policy that states that FAMU wants to be the fiscal agent for the college.

The FAMU administration defended the resolution in a press release last week. It said the resolution was good for the university because FAMU will soon become the tenure home for the deanship instead of FSU.

“Arresting the decline in FAMU’s student body means hiring new faculty, which is an important factor in attracting students. The dean has the responsibility of approving vacant and new line items. Gaining the responsibility of selecting the dean will help to address this issue,” the press release said.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Miller claims shift of COE fiscal agent duties to FSU consistent with what BOT “authorized”

FAMU’s policy for the past 28 years has been that it wants to serve as the fiscal agent of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). That was established by a 1987 agreement between FAMU and FSU that received the approval of the Board of Regents, which was the policy-making body for both of the universities at the time. The FAMU Board of Trustees adopted that policy when the Florida law made it the new policy-making body for the university in 2001.

The FAMU board reaffirmed that policy in 2007 after its interim president said she had no problem with a legislative plan to make Florida State University the fiscal agent for the COE instead of FAMU.

But on May 20, 2015 the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council, which includes voting representatives from the FAMU administration, unanimously passed a resolution to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. FAMU Vice President for Communications Jimmy Miller said the change was consistent with what the FAMU board “authorized” during a February meeting.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mangum kept FAMU board in the dark about shift of COE fiscal agent duties to FSU

The FAMU Board of Trustees has a policy that states that FAMU wants to serve as the fiscal agent for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). But that didn’t stop the current FAMU administration from telling FSU that it could have those duties.

A press release sent out by the FAMU administration last week said that the Joint College of Engineering Governance Council passed a resolution on May 20, 2015 to shift the COE fiscal agent duties from FAMU to FSU. The FAMU voting representatives on the Council are President Elmira Mangum (or her designee), Provost Marcella David, Vice-President for Research Timothy E. Moore, and Chief Financial Officer Dale Cassidy.

The FAMU press release did not state how the FAMU representatives voted on the resolution. But an investigative story published today by the Florida Times-Union reported that “the committee agreed unanimously” to the change.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Florida Times-Union to take in-depth look at FAMU leadership controversies

The Monday edition of the Florida Times-Union will take an in-depth look at the rough relationship between the FAMU Board of Trustees and its president of nearly 15 months, Elmira Mangum. Reporter Tia Mitchell, a FAMU alumna, said the writing process for the upcoming article was a trying experience.

From “Loving FAMU means telling the truth about its issues” (Friday, July 10, 2015):

On Monday’s front page, there will be an article I wrote about the drama surrounding Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum just a little over a year into her tenure.

She has made mistakes, but her position is worsened by a terrible relationship with members of the board of trustees and especially its chairman, Rufus Montgomery.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Rattlers express shock, disappointment about FAMU engineering crisis on Twitter

The article “Florida State Takes Hold of FAMU Engineering Purse Strings,” which was published on the website of Diverse Issues in Higher Education on Monday, has moved quickly through the Twitterverse. Numerous FAMUans on Twitter are expressing shock and disappointment about the crisis that has now made FAMU a part of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in name only.

As of the time of this blog posting, the most re-tweeted comment on the topic comes from the official page of FAMU alumna Anika Noni Rose.

“Fla State has been attempting to manhandle FAMU’s engineering program for YRS. Appears it’s finally happened. Shame,” Rose wrote in the tweet sent July 7.

Monday, June 29, 2015

2007: FAMU trustees rebuff Castell’s decision to support shift of COE fiscal agent duties to FSU

Back in 2007, the FAMU Board of Trustees took action after the interim president chose to go along with a change that was inconsistent with a university policy.

FAMU’s policy for the past 28 years has been that it wants to serve as the fiscal agent/budget manager of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). That was established by a 1987 agreement between FAMU and FSU that received the approval of the Board of Regents, which was the policy-making body for both of the universities at the time. The FAMU Board of Trustees adopted that policy when the Florida law made it the new policy-making body for the university in 2001.

But six years later, Interim President Castell V. Bryant said she had no problem with a legislative plan to transfer the COE fiscal agent/budget manager duties from FAMU to FSU. A Tallahassee Democrat article from March 30, 2007 stated that “after discussing it with [FSU President T.K. Wetherell], she said she was fine with the change.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rufus placing FAMU in danger with his disrespectful attitude toward SACS

Out of all the complaints Rufus Montgomery has brought up against Elmira Mangum since her hiring, one of his biggest has been about her decision to seek advisement from the Southern Association of Colleges of Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) before a major university decision last year. His disrespectful attitude toward FAMU’s regional accrediting organization is placing the university in danger.

Back on November 7, 2014, the FAMU Board of Trustees Athletics Oversight Committee voted to recommend that the full Board of Trustees pass a policy requiring two trustees to be appointed to the advisory committee. The motion did not state any intention to restrict the two trustees from being voting members.

Mangum told the committee she thought that proposal was inappropriate. She then went to SACSCOC President Belle Wheelan and asked if what the committee had requested was consistent with the accrediting organization’s rules. Wheelan informed her that trustees may only serve as nonvoting members of search committees for positions that work under the president.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rufus defends his treatment of Mangum amid calls for BOG inquiry

Yesterday, FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Rufus Montgomery publicly defended his treatment of President Elmira Mangum since her hiring last year. The comments came after a group of FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature said his interactions with her “are bordering dangerously close to bullying.”

“As the leader, I take responsibility for any valid criticisms for any decisions that the board makes,” Rufus said in an interview with WCTV-6. “But, in this case, we’ve yet to hear anyone successfully challenge the facts that were presented at the board meeting in question.”

At a June 10 board meeting, Rufus and other trustees blasted Mangum for allegedly failing to properly communicate with them and making other administrative decisions they felt were questionable.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Turnbull leaves FAMU Board of Trustees

Marjorie Turnbull has quietly left the FAMU Board of Trustees. The Board of Governors (BOG) appointed her in 2009 for a term that ended on January 6, 2015.

Turnbull had the option of either seeking reappointment or continuing to serve until her replacement was selected by the BOG. But she appears to have chosen to go ahead and part ways with the board.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Rufus elected chairman of FAMU Board of Trustees, Lawson wins vice-chairmanship

FAMU Trustees Rufus Montgomery, Kimberly Moore, and Kelvin Lawson
As widely expected, Rufus Montgomery easily won the chairmanship of the FAMU Board of Trustees, yesterday. He picked up nine votes in the election. Four votes went to opposing candidate Cleve Warren.  

Montgomery is president and CEO of The Cascon Group and a partner with CurtMont Global. He holds both a master of applied social science and bachelor of science from FAMU. Gov. Rick Scott originally appointed him to the board on March 23, 2011 for a term that will expire on January 6, 2016.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

FAMU trustees need to seek answers about new budget entity for FAMU-FSU engineering

The FAMU Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at 1:00 p.m. today. The only major item on the agenda is the election of officers. Before the board adjourns, it needs to ask some important questions about what is happening to the legislative appropriations for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Back on February 19, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) voted to seek a "new budget entity" for the funds that the Florida Legislature designates for the college. It went ahead with that decision even though the FAMU Board of Trustees had not taken a vote to support any changes to the program.

On that day, FSU President John Thrasher told WCTV-6 that the BOG plan “creates a new opportunity for governance of the school as well as trying to isolate and put into a separate fund the resources that we get for the joint college.”

But despite what Thrasher said in February, the new budget entity does not have all of the operating funds that the College of Engineering received in 2014.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Scott selects Woody to replace Badger on FAMU Board of Trustees

As expected for months, Gov. Rick Scott has given FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Solomon L. Badger, III the boot.

Yesterday, Scott announced Robert Woody as Badger’s replacement on the FAMU board. If confirmed by the Florida Senate, Woody will serve until January 6, 2020.

Back in February, Scott also reappointed Woody to the Santa Fe College District Board of Trustees for term ending May 31, 2018. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, a Scott spokesman said Woody will serve as a board member at both FAMU and Santa Fe if senators confirm both of his appointments.

Woody, 61, of Gainesville, is a retired deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University at Oneonta.

Badger was first appointed to a three-year term on the board by former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007. Crist then reappointed him in 2010. He was elected chairman of the board 2011 and then reelected in 2013.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

“New budget entity” for College of Engineering a bad idea with Thrasher at FSU

The $10.9M operations budget for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering could be permanently removed from FAMU’s general revenue appropriation this legislative session unless the university’s Board of Trustees acts to stop it from happening.

FAMU currently receives the annual $10.9M legislative appropriation that pays for the maintenance needs and plant operations of the College of Engineering in its general revenue funds. That money also pays the salaries of 23 FAMU professors and 27 Florida State University professors. FSU receives a separate appropriation of $5M in its general revenue budget that pays for another 36 professors. A report by the Capital News Service stated that the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) wants to change this so that “funding from lawmakers will go directly to the school instead of both universities.”

On Thursday, February 19, the BOG voted to approve a proposal entitled “Commitment to Guiding Principles and a Plan of Action for the FAMU-FSU Joint College of Engineering.” It states that: “The creation of a new budget entity for the Joint College will be pursued during the 2015 legislative session, to include all operating funds for the Joint College, including the appropriate amount of plant operation and maintenance funds.”

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Three FAMU trustees’ terms set to expire

The terms of three FAMU trustees will expire on January 6, 2015, the date of the Florida gubernatorial inauguration.

Solomon “Chuck” Badger, III, Torey Alston, and Marjorie Turnbull’s appointments will all end on that Tuesday. If they are not re-appointed, they will continue to serve until their replacements are named.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mangum to add two trustees as nonvoting members of football coach search advisory committee

FAMU President Elmira Mangum will add two university trustees to the advisory committee for the head football coach search. They will serve as nonvoting members.

Back on Friday, Nov. 7, the trustees Athletics Oversight Committee voted to recommend that the full Board of Trustees pass a policy requiring two trustees to be appointed to the advisory committee. The motion did not state any intention to restrict the two trustees from being voting members. According to WCTV-6, Mangum told the committee that she thought that proposal was inappropriate.

But during the Monday conference call for the full board, Athletics Oversight Committee Chairman Kelvin Lawson said that Mangum had agreed to give the trustees nonvoting representation on the committee after consulting with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) President Belle Wheelan.