Showing posts with label rick scott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rick scott. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2018

No alumna of FAMU has held one of the 11 appointed BOT seats since 2016

More than a year has passed since an alumna of Florida A&M University served in one of the 11 appointed seats on the Board of Trustees (BOT).

Belinda Shannon was the last alumna of FAMU to receive an appointment to the BOT. She was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 and served until 2016.

For Fall 2017, 6,428 of the total 9,909 students at FAMU were women. That’s 64 percent. But there are no women who graduated from FAMU in any of the 11 appointed seats on the FAMU BOT.

Six of the appointed seats are filled by the governor and the other five are filled by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG). The last two trustees are the elected Faculty Senate president and Student Government Association president.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

55% of FSU students are women, but 72% of the appointed FSU trustees are alumni men

Source: FSU Office of Institutional Research
Most of the students at the two public universities in Tallahassee are women. But the Florida governor's office and the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) have mostly appointed men to the Boards of Trustees of those schools. Very few women get to vote in board decisions at Florida A&M University or Florida State University.

At FAMU there are only two women in the 11 appointed BOT seats. There currently aren’t any alumni women who hold gubernatorial or BOG appointments on the board. The only woman on the FAMU BOT who has a FAMU degree is Faculty Senate President Betty A. Grable.

But for Fall 2017, 6,428 of the total 9,909 students at FAMU were women. That’s 64 percent.

At FSU, 23,352 of the total 41,900 students for Fall 2017 were women. That’s 55 percent. But alumni men hold eight out of the 11 appointed BOT seats, which is 72 percent.

Only two women hold appointed seats on the FSU BOT. One is Kathryn Ballard, who is an alumna of FSU. Another is Emily Fleming Duda. Her biography on the FSU Trustee Directory doesn’t state whether she is an alumna of FSU.

The third woman on the FSU Board of Trustees is Stacey Pierre, who was elected student body president.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Nelson should sponsor a Senate companion bill for Lawson’s $50M HBCU Parity Act

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson speaking at the FAMU School of the Environment in 2017
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, was a supporter of the funding boost that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) received in the new federal budget. Back on February 22, 2018, he was one of 14 senators who signed a letter “to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies requesting that the upcoming omnibus bill contain a restoration and increase in federal support to HBCUs.”

That effort helped secure a multi-million dollar increase in Title III money for HBCUs.

But much more work needs to be done. Florida A&M University alumnus and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson recently introduced the HBCU Parity Act. Nelson should introduce a companion bill for that proposed act in the U.S. Senate.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Alexander’s bill secures $500,000 for Tallahassee accident victim

Back on March 23, 2018, Gov. Rick Scott signed CS/HB 6527 into law. State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee filed the bill during the 2018 legislative session.

According to a press release by the governor’s office: “This bill directs the City of Tallahassee to provide $500,000 in relief to Christopher Cannon for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident caused by a City of Tallahassee Dial-A-Ride vehicle.”

The bill filed by Alexander, an alumnus of Florida A&M University, states that Cannon received a $700,000 court settlement in the case and the City of Tallahassee paid him $200,000, which was the most it provide “under the statutory limits of liability set forth in s. 768.28, Florida Statues.”

Now that Scott has signed Alexander’s bill into law, Cannon will receive the remaining $500,000 of the settlement money from the state.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Alexander says signing of SB 1712 “a huge step” for FAMU

Earlier this week, state Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, expressed his happiness in response to news that Gov. Rick Scott had signed his bill on “Postsecondary Revenue Bonds and Debt” into law.

“I appreciate Gov. Scott’s signing of SB 1712,” Alexander said in a quote in the Tallahassee Democrat. “Allowing Florida A&M University access to participate in the Historically Black College and University Capital Funding Program for future capital outlay projects is a huge step for the university in achieving infrastructure development goals and the highest educational success. This bill allows the university to take necessary steps to help ensure that.”

Alexander and Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, filed identical versions of the bill in their respective chambers. The House substituted the Senate version, SB 1712, for its version, CS/HB 375, on March 5th. The bill was later enrolled and presented to governor on that same day.

FAMU President Larry Robinson and the Board of Trustees want to seek a HBCU Capital Financing Program loan to finance a planned 700-bed, on-campus student housing facility.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Lawson, Carter reappointed to FAMU Board of Trustees

On Friday, January 5th Gov. Rick Scott announced the reappointments of Kelvin Lawson and Matthew Carter to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees (BOT).

Lawson, 54, of Jacksonville, is a vice president at Acosta Sales and Marketing. He previously served as the director of national accounts for Johnson and Johnson. Lawson received his bachelor’s degree from FAMU. He is reappointed for a term beginning January 5, 2018, and ending January 6, 2021. Lawson is the current chair of the FAMU BOT.

Carter, 65, of Tallahassee, is an attorney and business consultant on energy, economic development, and education with Carter and Associates. He is a United States Army veteran and previously served as a member of the Board of Governors of the State University System. Carter is reappointed for a term beginning January 6, 2018, and ending January 6, 2023.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Lawson, Soto ask Scott to extend time limits on SNAP benefits due to hurricane devastation

Damage to a Florida Keys neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma
U.S. Representatives Al Lawson and Darren Soto, members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, recently sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott asking his administration to extend the temporary lift of time limits placed on the benefits of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. They said this should be done due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma on Florida’s economy and the most vulnerable of constituents.

Without the governor’s consent before the beginning of November, SNAP recipients in Florida between the ages of 18 and 50 who are not disabled and do not have dependents will be limited to SNAP benefits for 3 months in any 3-year period when not employed or in a work or training program.

“In response to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, your Administration ceased enforcement of this time limit for the months of September and October in the 48 FEMA declared disaster counties throughout the State,” Lawson said. “This move allowed the most vulnerable of Floridians to rebuild their lives without the worry of losing their SNAP benefit, and this policy must be continued.”

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lawson, Fla. Democrats ask Scott to guarantee food assistance is part of Irma recovery efforts

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, and the ten other Democratic members of the Florida Congressional delegation sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott asking him to take steps to ensure that Floridians have adequate access to food after Hurricane Irma. The group asked the governor to seek additional assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to further meet the needs of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens during this time.

“One of the most effective ways we can immediately help those impacted by the hurricane is by making sure that people have access to food,” said Lawson. “By making these additional requests, similar to those made by Texas after Hurricane Harvey, we can ensure that food assistance is part of our comprehensive recovery efforts.”

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Scott, governor’s race candidates remain quiet on small number of alumni on FAMU BOT

It’s been more than a year and a half since the Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association (NAA) publicly spoke out about the small number of alumni on the school’s Board of Trustees (BOT).

At that time, alumni only held three of the 11 appointed seats on the BOT, down from six the previous year. Now, there are only two appointed alumni trustees at FAMU. But at both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni hold the majority of the 11 appointed seats.

“We have a lot of talented graduates from FAMU,” FAMU NAA President Gregory L. Clark said in a 2016 interview with WCTV-6. “I think we should take a hard look and tap into some of the talent that is out there. All we’re asking for is a fair shot at looking at some of our graduates out there to serve on the board of trustees.”

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Democratic reps ask Scott how he will protect Florida from proposed Trump cuts to SNAP

Recently, nine Florida Democratic U.S. representatives sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott outlining their concern over President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“Upon the release of President Trump’s budget, we are deeply concerned about the proposal to “re-balance the Federal/State partnership in SNAP benefits to low-income households,” the representatives wrote. “This proposal will shift 25 percent of SNAP costs to the State of Florida by 2023. More than two-thirds of SNAP households include children, seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-wage workers. SNAP is essential to keeping poor and vulnerable Floridians from going hungry. At a time when Florida’s budget is already strained, this has the potential to drastically affect how our constituents are served, and we are requesting information on how your administration intends to respond.”

The Florida delegation members who signed the letter included U.S. Reps. Al Lawson (FL-5), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Darren Soto (FL-9), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Val Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Alcee Hastings (FL-23), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).

Monday, June 05, 2017

FAMU the only public university spared from Scott’s veto pen

Florida A&M was the only public university that Gov. Rick Scott chose to spare from his veto pen this year. Every other public university took line item vetoes in the 2017-2018 General Appropriations Act that the governor signed last week.

New College of Florida, which isn’t classified as a university but is still part of the State University System of Florida, also escaped line item vetoes from Scott.

FAMU’s line items in this year’s appropriations bill include: $1.5M for the Crestview Education Center, $1M for “increasing online course offerings,” and $3.5M for the Center for Access and Student Success.

Florida State University, which is led by Scott’s former reelection campaign Chair John Thrasher, took $20,897,730 in line item vetoes. Scott slashed: $8M for the Interdisciplinary Research Commercialization Building, $5M for the Stem Teaching Lab, $4M for Land Acquisition, $1M for College of Law Scholarships/Faculty, $700,000 for the Health Equity Research Institute, $608,111 for the Florida Campus Compact, $489,619 for Evaluation of Behavioral Health System of Care in Florida at the FSU Medical School, $300,000 for the Next Generation Ultra-High Field Magnets, $300,000 for the Charles Hilton Endowed Professorship, $250,000 for the Pepper Center Long Term Care Proposal, and $250,000 for the Learning System Institute.

Out of all the public universities that took line item vetoes, Florida Polytechnic had the smallest amount removed. It lost $150,000 for a “Feasibility Study to Relocate the Florida Highway Patrol Academy to” its campus.

View the full list of line item vetoes here.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Scott within striking distance of Nelson’s U.S. Senate seat after helping Trump win Florida

The Florida GOP is gaining ground in its long-held goal to unseat the last statewide elected Democratic official in the state.

A recent poll by the Saint Leo University showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott is within the margin of error in a potential 2018 general election challenge against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.

The poll asked respondents whom they would support if the November 2018 election was being that day and they were presented with a choice between Scott and Nelson for Senate. The results were close, with Nelson’s support at 38.7 percent compared to Scott at 34.3 percent. Nearly 17 percent could not decide, and 10.3 percent said they want someone else.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Lawson touts FAMU’s new direction during meeting between BOT chairs and Scott

Chairs from each of the State University System’s Boards of Trustees shared key information and concerns with Gov. Rick Scott during a meeting at the Governor’s Mansion on Nov. 21.

Kelvin Lawson, chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees and a participant in the meeting, said he was encouraged by the session and believes it was very productive.

“I thought it was a good forum. The governor has been very interested in higher education in the state, very interested in job creation, and very interested in making sure that when students graduate from one of our institutions that there is a job available to them, primarily in the State of Florida,” said Lawson, who is a FAMU alumnus.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

FAMU veteran inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame

On November 9, Gov. Rick Scott inducted Col. (Ret.) Washington J. Sanchez, Jr. an alumnus of Florida A&M University, into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

“We are incredibly grateful for the service and sacrifice of our veterans, and we must take every opportunity to thank and honor these brave service men and women,” Scott said.

Sanchez, a member of the FAMU Class of 1964, was commissioned into the U.S. Army through FAMU’s Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Program. He is a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient whose countless, inexhaustible volunteer hours supporting veterans in need has earned him statewide honors. A respected leader in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, he serves as chairman and CEO of the non-profit Florida Veterans Foundation, which provides emergency assistance to veterans in crisis.

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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Florida Senate confirms Carter and Washington’s appointments

On Thursday of last week, the Florida Senate confirmed the appointments of Matt Carter and Nicole Washington to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees.

Carter, an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott, was confirmed for a term that ends on January 6, 2018. Washington, an appointee of the Florida Board of Governors (BOG), was confirmed for a term that ends on January 6, 2020.

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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Clark says small number of alumni on FAMU Board of Trustees unacceptable

At both the University of Florida and Florida State University, alumni have ten of the 11 appointed seats on the respective Boards of Trustees. But FAMU alumni only have three of the 11 appointed seats on their alma mater’s Board of Trustees (BOT), down from six last year.

Lt. Col. Gregory L. Clark, the newly elected president of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (NAA), is speaking out against that different treatment of FAMU. According to WCTV-6, Clark “says the lower number of alumni on the board does not mirror other universities in the state system.”

“We have a lot of talented graduates from FAMU,” Clark said in an interview with the TV station. “I think we should take a hard look and tap into some of the talent that is out there. All we’re asking for is a fair shot at looking at some of our graduates out there to serve on the board of trustees.”