Showing posts with label opinions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label opinions. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Better late than never; Mangum’s staff completes Trustee Directory updates

On Monday, the administration of President Elmira Mangum finally finished updating the Board of Trustees (BOT) directory on

The Florida Board of Governors made 20 appointments to public university boards on January 21, including the selection of Thomas Dortch Jr. and Craig Reed for the FAMU BOT. At the University of Florida, the BOT webpage was updated promptly to include its new trustee. But the Trustee Directory was incomplete for weeks.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Decline in FAMU advocacy among numerous questionable decisions by Florida Black Caucus

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus (FLBC) was once one of the most consistent sources of advocacy that Florida A&M University had. But over the past year, the group has simply ignored a number of attacks against the university.

In 2015, FAMU lost control of a multi-million dollar college budget after 28 years and saw its alumni become a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats. But the FLBC still doesn’t seem to see a problem and has kept quiet.

That FLBC’s decline in commitment to defending FAMU comes at a time when news reports are raising serious questions about its operations, especially when it comes to its relationship with the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators (a nonprofit foundation).

Monday, February 08, 2016

Arthenia Joyner failing to defend FAMU in Florida Senate with boldness Carrie Meek had

When Carrie Meek was the most prominent FAMU graduate in the Florida Senate, she provided the leadership necessary to ensure that FAMU gained and kept control of the budget for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

But after all the hard work Meek did to keep the budget at FAMU, current Senate Democratic Leader and FAMU alumna Arthenia Joyner failed to battle against it being taken away from the university in 2015.

Back in 1987, FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries struck a deal with FSU President Bernie Sliger for FAMU to receive control of the COE budget in exchange for him agreeing to support Innovation Park as the building site for the COE.

Meek used her seat in the Florida Senate to help move the annual appropriation for the COE into the FAMU general revenue line in 1987. She also made sure that it stayed there up until she left the state Senate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Warren’s silence on Mangum’s slights toward state GOP officials sends message

Florida A&M University receives its annual appropriations from a legislature that has a Republican majority. The relationship between the FAMU president’s office and the state GOP leadership went downhill during Elmira Mangum’s first year at the university and is continuing its steady decline. But current FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Cleve Warren has shown no signs of caring.

Back when the BOT voted to hire Mangum in 2014, Rattler Nation wrote about how FAMU presidents have faced tough challenges ever since the Republicans gained control of the legislature and governorship in the 1990s.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Carter gets big pat on the back from Scott after publicly mocking FAMU alumni lawmakers

Former Board of Governors (BOG) member Matthew Carter II has received a big pat on the back from Gov. Rick Scott after loudly scolding Florida A&M University alumni lawmakers who expressed concern about their alma mater in August.

On December 18, Scott appointed Carter to the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT). There’s already talk in Tallahassee that moving Carter from the BOG to FAMU is part of an effort to fast-track him into the FAMU chairmanship in time for a likely presidential search in the upcoming months. June 30, 2016 is the deadline for a discussion on whether President Elmira Mangum’s employment will be renewed. She began a three-year contract on April 1, 2014.

Carter’s former colleagues on the BOG can create a vacancy in the FAMU chairmanship as soon as they get ready. Current Chairman Cleve Warren’s term expired more than a year ago on January 6, 2015.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mangum administration continues its laziness with FAMU Trustee Directory updates

FAMU Trustee Directory on January 30, 2016 (
Back on January 21, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) appointed Thomas Dortch Jr. and Craig Reed to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees (BOT). But you wouldn’t know that by looking at the Trustee Directory because as of the time of this blog posting, President Elmira Mangum’s administration still hasn’t updated that webpage to include them.

Dortch and Reed are still nowhere to be found on the online directory. The problem can’t be that the FAMU administration doesn’t have access to the official appointment announcements or the new trustees’ biographies because the BOG posted that information in a press release on its website the day after it made their selections official.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Good riddance! Karl White finally off FAMU Board of Trustees

Florida A&M University no longer has the public embarrassment of Karl White’s presence on its Board of Trustees. Last week, the Florida Board of Governors announced that it had replaced White, who was originally appointed in 2007.

FAMU trustees should be individuals with outstanding professional records and proven leadership skills. But White represented the opposite of that.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Alumni lawmakers silent as Tripp co-leads BOG selection process for 3 FAMU BOT seats

The FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature are continuing to give the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) a pass on its treatment of their alma mater. They are currently remaining silent as Norman Tripp, one of the last individuals who should have anything to do with choosing leaders for FAMU, is serving on the BOG subcommittee that vets candidates for the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT).

Tripp is one of the two members of the FAMU Subcommittee of the BOG Nomination and Governance Committee. The other is Mori Hosseini. They have been reviewing applications and nominations for three vacancies on the FAMU BOT now that Spurgeon McWilliams has resigned and the terms of Cleve Warren and Karl White have expired.

The three FAMU BOT vacancies are on the agenda for the BOG meeting that will take place today and tomorrow at Florida State University.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

FAMUans should ask state auditors to look into $12.9M COE budget shift to FSU

Florida Auditor General Sherrill F. Norman and her staff are currently going over Florida A&M University documents to see whether President Elmira Mangum received Board of Trustees (BOT) approval for two purchase orders totaling $371,738 for capital projects at the President’s House before they were executed. The president’s contract says “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.”

FAMUans should contact Norman’s office and ask her to also look into the shift of the $12.9M FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) budget from FAMU to FSU that happened last year without a vote of approval by the BOT.

Monday, January 18, 2016

1988: Meek, Lawson blast BOR for talking to Humphries in a demeaning manner

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) will hold a meeting at Florida State University. Three Florida A&M University Board of Trustees vacancies will be on the agenda.

The FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature have let the BOG run all over their alma mater since 2015. They are still silent in the aftermath of BOG-supported changes that led to FAMU losing control of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) budget after 28 years, BOG member Norman Tripp talking to FAMU administrators in a condescending way, and FAMU’s alumni being reduced to a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats.

FAMU used to have much stronger alumni legislators like Carrie P. Meek and Al Lawson who didn’t back down when the former Board of Regents (BOR) did things that were harmful to the school.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Alumni lawmakers still ignoring decision to reduce FAMU alumni to minority in appointed BOT seats

Florida A&M University has gone from having six of the 11 appointed seats on its Board of Trustees filled by alumni in 2015 to now only three. At both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni have ten of the 11 appointed seats.

But the alumni lawmakers of FAMU still haven’t publicly taken Gov. Rick Scott or the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) to task for this.

Monday, January 04, 2016

BOG should replace Karl White with someone who has a better professional record

At both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni hold ten of the 11 appointed seats on the Boards of Trustees. Those alumni come from the best of the best of each schools’ graduates. The names of numerous wealthy business leaders, prominent attorneys, and influential politicians appear on UF and FSU’s trustee directories.

Florida A&M has many alumni who’ve been just as successful in their careers and would love to receive an appointment to serve on university’s Board of Trustees. But the Florida Governor’s Office and Florida Board of Governors (BOG) have declined to let FAMU alumni hold the majority of seats on the FAMU board.

Florida governors and the BOG have regularly rebuffed the best-accomplished FAMU alumni in order to give the university low-quality appointees like Karl White, whose term ends on January 6, 2016.  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Alumni lawmakers letting Scott, BOG, and Thrasher run over FAMU

In 2015, FAMU lost control of a multi-million dollar college budget after 28 years and saw its alumni become a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats.

If any of those things had happened to the University of Florida, Florida State University, or the University of South Florida, their alumni lawmakers would be up in arms. But the FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature have remained quiet about these attacks against the university.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

FAMU deserves to have alumni in most of its 11 appointed BOT seats just like UF, FSU, and USF

Gov. Rick Scott and BOG Chairman Thomas Kuntz
Currently, only three of the 11 appointed seats on the FAMU Board of Trustees are filled by alumni. At both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni have ten of the 11 appointed seats.

Alumni of the University of South Florida have eight of the 11 appointed seats on its Board of Trustees.

The small number of FAMU alumni that the Florida Governor’s Office and Board of Governors (BOG) have chosen to appoint to the FAMU Board of Trustees is an insult. It suggests that FAMU doesn’t have as many alumni who are up to the task of leadership as UF, FSU, and USF.

FAMU deserves to have most of its 11 appointed BOT seats filled by alumni just as much as UF, FSU, and USF do.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Thrasher holds all the cards for deciding when “interim” College of Engineering deanship ends

Selection process for FAMU-FSU College of Engineering dean since 1987
Back in a September interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, FAMU President Elmira Mangum was asked about the search process for a permanent dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE).

“Oh, it started in earnest. We’re at a point of using an external search firm. We’ve got the RFP out. We’re about ready to kick that off. If we were lucky, we’d get a Dean in January…” Mangum said.

But despite Mangum’s use of the word “we,” FSU President John Thrasher really holds all the cards for deciding when the current interim deanship at the COE will end because he must agree to jointly appoint a new permanent dean.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Two of the loudest defenders of Holmes’ firing shouldn’t have been hired at FAMU themselves

Kellen Winslow, Sr. and John Michael Lee were two of the loudest defenders of the decision to terminate former Rattler Head Football Coach Earl Holmes back in 2014. But Winslow and Lee were both poor selections for employment at FAMU themselves.

Back in 2012, Central State University President John Garland fired Winslow from the position of athletic director. Winslow responded by making a number of apparently bitter comments in the media.

The Springfield News-Sun reported on the back-and-forth between Winslow and the Central State president:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Holmes’ firing handled almost as incompetently as Joe’s termination

One big problem behind the decline of the Florida A&M football program over the past ten years has been the willingness of some so-called Rattlers to defend administrative mistreatment of the coaching staff. Too many people who tell the world that they “bleed Orange & Green” have had such a personal dislike of certain football coaches that they didn’t even care about treating those employees with fairness.

The unprofessional termination process used against Earl Holmes in 2015, which a number of “Rattlers” still claim isn’t a big deal, was almost as much of a national embarrassment as the incompetent firing of Billy Joe in 2005.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Public tensions among Mangum’s VPs adding to dysfunction

Only a short time after Dale Cassidy reported to work as the new chief financial officer of FAMU in October of 2014, talk began to swirl on campus that he was effectively the #2 vice-president in Elmira Mangum’s administration.

Cassidy started his job at FAMU about a month before Mangum announced in a November 2014 press release that Marcella David would become the new provost. The provost is officially the second-in-line to the presidency at FAMU, but David’s start date was not until February 2015. So in the months before David came to Tallahassee, Cassidy took on a leading role in helping the new Mangum administration get up-and-running.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mangum makes headlines for dodging tough questions from reporters, again

FAMU President Elmira Mangum dashes out a back door after a press conference (Tallahassee Democrat)
The president of FAMU made headlines this week for choosing to dodge tough questions from reporters, again.