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

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Travel reimbursement dispute over Governor’s Prayer Breakfast preceded BOT shakeup

Joe Bullard, Elmira Mangum, Chuck Badger, and Gayle Andrews at the 2015 Inaugural Prayer Breakfast
A set of emails that POLITICO Florida obtained show that a bitter dispute over travel reimbursements for certain FAMU trustees who wanted to attended the January 6, 2015 Inaugural Prayer Breakfast preceded a major shakeup on the board.

At the time of the prayer breakfast in honor of Gov. Rick Scott’s election to a second term, FAMU President Elmira Mangum appeared to be working to mend fences with him.

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 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?’”

Friday, October 23, 2015

Students protest as Scott prepares to make appointments that will decide Mangum’s fate

Back in 2011, FAMU Student Body President Breyon Love led close to 1,200 students in a march to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to protest Gov. Rick Scott’s request for the university Board of Trustees to suspend President James H. Ammons. Scott asked the board to take that action seven days after it rejected a motion by Trustee Rufus Montgomery to place Ammons on administrative leave.

Yesterday, Rufus’ attempt to get rid of the president who succeeded Ammons led to another student protest and a march to the governor’s office.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Boyce steps down from FAMU Board of Trustees after 14 months

Lucas Boyce left the FAMU Board of Trustees on Monday after serving 14 months of a three and half year term.

Boyce informed Chairman Rufus Montgomery of his decision to step down in a letter on Sept. 28. He didn’t provide details about why he chose to leave.

“Please let this communication serve as notice to you and the rest of the Trustees of my resignation from the board of FAMU University,” he wrote.

Gov. Rick Scott originally appointed Boyce on July 21, 2014. His appointment was to end on January 6, 2018.

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?’”

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, June 24, 2015

Scott spares all FAMU’s PECO line items for second consecutive year

Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott at the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast at FAMU in 2015
Gov. Rick Scott has spared all of FAMU’s line items from the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) fund for the second consecutive year.

Yesterday, Scott used his line item veto pen to slash a record $461.4 million from the 2015-2016 appropriations bill before signing a $78.2 billion budget for Florida. But the governor opted to leave all of FAMU’s appropriations intact.

The money includes $1,480,000 for the completion of Phase II of the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. FAMU also received a big $6,155,000 to begin constructing a brand new Student Affairs building. Those projects will both be funded with PECO dollars.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Joyner denounces Scott’s planned lawsuit against Obama administration

On Thursday, FAMU alumna and Florida Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) sharply condemned Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to sue the Obama administration for allegedly trying to strong-arm the state into expanding Medicaid.

“Today’s grandstanding underscores his commitment to wasting Florida’s tax dollars to get what he wants, at whatever cost,” said Joyner, who, together with the Senate Democratic Caucus has joined the Senate Republicans in supporting the Florida Senate’s healthcare expansion plan. “This is all about scoring points against [U.S. President Barack Obama]. It has nothing to do with protecting ‘the healthcare of Floridians’ or ‘their right to be free from federal overreach.’”

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, January 07, 2015

Mangum opens Scott’s inauguration day with prayerful welcome to FAMU

Yesterday morning, FAMU President Elmira Mangum officiated the opening of the first event of Gov. Rick Scott’s second inauguration, the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast. She formally introduced Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and asked the audience to give them a standing ovation as they walked into Jake Gaither Gymnasium with their families.

Mangum then offered the following welcome:

“Gov. Scott, God has called upon you to lead us and has committed into your hands as governor of the State of Florida, the wellbeing of all its citizens. We, here at FAMU, stand ready to assist you. You have been chosen by the people of this great state. And I ask you to seek God’s wisdom and to govern with strength, courage, and a tender heart.

In Matthew 12:50 it is written: ‘For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother.’

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Scott’s second term to begin with FAMU prayer breakfast

First Lady Ann Scott and Gov. Rick Scott at FAMU prayer breakfast in 2011
Florida governors have launched their inaugural festivities at FAMU for almost 30 years. Gov. Rick Scott will continue the tradition by kicking off his second term with an Inaugural Prayer Breakfast at FAMU.  

The event will take place at the Jake Gaither Gymnasium at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

Monday, December 01, 2014

USDOE civil rights office expresses concerns about possible FAMU-FSU engineering split

Catherine Lhamon, USDOE Asst. Sec. for Civil Rights
The Obama administration has officially informed the State of Florida about its reservations concerning the possible split of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

According to a preliminary report by CBT University Consulting, the firm hired to study the college for the Board of Governors (BOG), “[U.S. Department of Education] Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon, in a letter to Governor Rick Scott dated April 25, 2014, expressed concern that separation of the Joint College was under consideration.”

Lhamon’s office is responsible for enforcing the consent decree that Florida entered into with the former Civil Rights Office of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). During the year 1973, the HEW civil rights office ordered Florida to either begin complying in honesty with Congressional laws that mandated the desegregation of higher education or lose $70M in federal money. If inflation is taken into account, that $70M from 1973 would be about $370M today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Crist concedes Florida gubernatorial election to Scott

Charlie Crist conceded the 2014 gubernatorial election race to incumbent Gov. Rick Scott late Tuesday night.

 “I called Governor Scott and I congratulated him,” Crist said in a quote published by CNN. “And I wish him the best.”

The latest Associated Press numbers have Scott with 48.21 percent of the vote (2,858,119) to Crist’s 47 percent (2,786,643).

According to the AP, “Crist appealed to blacks, Hispanics, moderates and younger voters. Around 85 percent of African-Americans supported Crist over Scott. Crist split the vote with Scott among Cuban voters, typically a GOP-leaning group. Overall, Scott lost 12 points in support among Hispanics compared with the 2010 gubernatorial race. Voters in South Florida and central Florida preferred Crist over Scott, as did voters in cities.”

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Charlie Crist victory will end current gubernatorial attack on FAMU

Carole Crist, Ramon Alexander, Charlie Crist, and Daryl Parks
Over the past four years, FAMU has been under constant attack from a gubernatorial administration that is hostile to the university. Today is Rattler Country’s chance to strike back and put a big injection of venom in Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection campaign.

Gov. Rick Scott has jeopardized FAMU’s accreditation, attempted to bully the Board of Trustees, and shown disrespect to FAMU students.

Scott has also used his veto power to take away three line items that the Florida Legislature voted to give FAMU. He vetoed $2M for Infrastructure/Capital Renewal and $500,000 that would have saved the John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center in Panama City in 2011. He also vetoed $1.5M for the Crestview Education Center in 2012.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Carroll: “I gave [Rick Scott] 100 percent of my loyalty” only to be “betrayed”

FAMU honors Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll for keynoting its 2012 Black History Month Convocation
Last year, a Rattler Nation editorial remarked that Jennifer Carroll’s resignation as lieutenant governor was “just another example of how [Gov. Rick Scott] requires 100 percent loyalty from his appointees while demanding that they expect none in return.”

The editorial added that: “She defended his integrity when questions were raised about his embarrassing financial past as the head of Columbia/HCA. Scott rewarded Carroll’s loyalty by kicking her to the curb in the wake of an alleged scam that pales in comparison to the one that led to his exit from the health care company he ran years ago.”

It looks like there’s someone else who shares this view: Jennifer Carroll.

Carroll opened up about her years as lieutenant governor in a May radio interview.

“I gave him 100 percent of my loyalty, even though we didn’t know each other prior to running, and he had his issues with HCA and Medicaid fraud,” she said. “I never asked him a question about that. Never.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Tampa Bay Times editorial: Scott tosses scraps at public universities that are still starving

From the editorial “Scott's budget vetoes reflect re-election campaign, not conservative values” by the Tampa Bay Times:

Turns out that in an election year, Gov. Rick Scott doesn't mind spending taxpayer money. The governor on Monday signed into law the largest state budget ever while vetoing the smallest amount of spending since taking office. That leaves in place hundreds of millions in legislative special projects, many of which never received a full public vetting. This is a budget grounded more in Scott's re-election campaign than in his professed fiscal conservatism.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Scott signs biggest FAMU budget of his term, spares all the university’s line items

Senate Pres. Don Gaetz (left), Gov. Rick Scott (center), and House Speaker Will Weatherford (right)
On Monday, FAMU received its best budgetary news since Gov. Rick Scott took office. The governor signed the biggest FAMU budget of his term and spared all of the university’s line items.

FAMU received $84,817,515 in General Revenue and $14,834,223 from the Education Enhancement Trust Fund, the largest respective amounts in four years.

The budget also includes a critical $10,000,000 that will help FAMU complete the Phase II building for the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Possible Thrasher presidency at FSU expands threat against tenure in SUS

Ever since Gov. Rick Scott came to Tallahassee, FAMU and the University of Florida have been the two biggest battle sites in the war over the future of tenure in the State University System of Florida (SUS). But now, John E. Thrasher’s candidacy for the Florida State University presidency has brought the anti-tenure threat to that school’s doorstep.

Thrasher, chairman of Scott’s reelection campaign, is a state senator who championed the governor’s bill to get rid of tenure in the state’s K-12 schools. Jennifer Proffitt, president of the FSU chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, explained why that is problem.

“Proffitt said faculty are concerned about Thrasher’s lack of experience within higher education administration and might be wary of him since he pushed for a state bill to eliminate tenure for new public school teachers in favor of a merit-based system,” the Florida Times-Union reported.

Those who want to eliminate tenure in higher education often claim that it isn’t “merit-based.” But the website of FSU’s own provost takes that point to task.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Alston no longer a member of FAMU Foundation Board of Directors

Gov. Rick Scott's reelection campaign says it won't use this footage of Corey Alston in future ads
The latest list of the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors members on no longer includes Corey Alston’s name.

Alston, a former member of the FAMU Board of Trustees, stepped down as the chairman of the FAMU Foundation last year in the wake of a grand theft charge against him. But his name remained on the list of board members for months afterward.

According to the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz blog: “Corey Alson, 35 of Lauderhill, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of grand theft, corrupt misuse of [an] official position and misuse of public office or employment. Prosecutors accused him of coordinating a deal to be compensated $25,139 for 498 hours in unused sick time and he resigned in February. He was later indicted on four additional counts of grand theft, one count of grand theft over $20,000 and one count of aggravated white-collar crime. After the incident, the governor suspended the three city officials who approved the payout to Alston.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mangum: FAMU would need $100M for new E-College building and $15M in recurring funds

The design for the Phase III building of the current FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
Back when T.K. Wetherell tried to push FAMU out of the joint College of Engineering in 2008, then-Sen. Al Lawson estimated that it would take around $100M to provide FAMU with an independent engineering school that’s comparable to the one in Innovation Park. That estimate did not include the recurring revenue that would be required to hire new faculty members, since the majority of the current E-College’s professors are on Florida State University’s payroll.

New FAMU President Elmira Mangum reminded the State of Florida of that price tag on Wednesday in a letter that she sent to Gov. Rick Scott.

She began the letter by explaining that FAMU opposes the legislative proposal to split the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. That proposed change was introduced into the Florida Senate budget by Sen. John E. Thrasher.  

Thrasher wants to give FSU its own independent College of Engineering. He says that FAMU can keep the current facility in Innovation Park and the annual operational budget of $10.9M.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Mangum should insist on having a super-majority clause in her contract

No one could blame Elmira Mangum if she has started having second thoughts about the FAMU presidency after the way the university’s Board of Trustees treated her last week.

Attorneys for Mangum and FAMU came to a mutual agreement over a proposed contract. But on Friday, board members shot down the joint recommendation and demanded that the president-designate agree to changes in areas such as compensation.

The trustees also took a disrespectful “our way or the highway” tone toward Mangum by effectively giving her one week to concede to less generous employment terms.

At this rate, it would not be shocking to see Mangum just  say “no thanks” and stay in her comfortable job at Cornell University.

But if Mangum does decide to give the FAMU Board of Trustees a second chance (which is what a large number of students, faculty, and alumni are hoping), she should not put her signature on any employment agreement that lacks a “super-majority clause.”