Friday, August 28, 2015

BOG not signaling any interest in saving Mangum presidency

Back in June, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) said that it would review the claims from a group of FAMU alumni in the legislature who said that FAMU Board of Trustee Chairman Rufus Montgomery’s treatment of President Elmira Mangum has been “bordering dangerously close to bullying.” But the BOG still isn’t signaling any interest in saving the Mangum presidency.

The tension between Rufus and Mangum has increased in the weeks after the lawmakers took their concerns to the BOG.  The latest clash took place on August 17 when Mangum accused Rufus of violating her “employee rights according to University Regulation 10.103(3b) -Nondiscrimination Policy and Harassment Procedures.” She later told the Florida Times-Union that she thought Rufus was working toward the goal of firing her.

But BOG Chancellor Marshall Criser and BOG member Matthew Carter both downplayed the seriousness of the problems that Rufus and Mangum have with each other in statements to the media this week. Criser brushed off the issue by saying that it was “noise around the edges.” Carter told a reporter that “I don’t think the relationship is broken.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Separate FSU budget for FAMU-FSU College of Engineering grows to $7M

The separate budget that Florida State University has for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) is continuing to grow. A WCTC-6 story on the COE from yesterday reported that “the budget is $12.9 million, plus $7 million from FSU that will be going to the joint college.”

That is up from last year. A Tallahassee Democrat article from 2014 reported that “the FSU budget is $5 million ‘and has been growing,’ [Dean Yaw Yeboah] said.” That money paid for 36 FSU professors in 2014. The separate FSU engineering budget was also referenced in the study that CBT University Consulting presented to the Florida Board of Governors earlier this year. The study said that there was “roughly $6 million within FSU that supports Joint College faculty and research.”

FSU receives money for its separate engineering budget in its general revenue from the Florida Legislature.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WFSU: Mangum administration hired man convicted of federal felony to $75,000 job

An investigative report published by WFSU, the PBS/NPR for North Florida and Southern Georgia, states that FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s administration hired an individual who was convicted of a federal felony to a job that pays him $75,000 per year.

According to WFSU: “Earlier this year Mangum hired Santoras D. Gamble in FAMU’s office of Communications. What raised eyebrows among FAMU faculty, staff and administrators, is Gamble’s background. He’s paid $75,000 a year. Gamble was convicted of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, a felony. He was ordered to pay more than $122,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Education and Auburn University, where the crime took place. He also shows up the U.S. Department of Education’s annual fraud report to congress in 2012.”  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NAA declines to support call to remove BOT chair, Mitchell repeats concerns about Mangum

Last week, a group of state lawmakers made a public request for FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Rufus Montgomery to either resign or be voted out of his leadership office. According to WFSU, FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) President Tommy Mitchell said the organization he leads was asked to support that position, but said no.  

“While we chose not to be part of that press conference, we’re equally concerned about the dilemma of our board chair and president of being unable to work together,” he said.

On Wednesday, a number of FAMU alumni in the Florida Legislature sent a letter to the FAMU Board of Trustees that said they wanted Rufus out of the chairmanship. The group included Rep. Alan Williams, Sen. Arthenia L. Joyner, Sen. Dwight Bullard, Rep. Mia Jones, Rep. Shevrin Jones, and Rep. Bobby Powell. Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum also signed the letter.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Lawson says he might run against Brown in new U.S. House District 5

A court-ordered redrawing of the Fifth Congressional District of Florida could lead to a Democratic Primary battle between two FAMU graduates in 2016.

FAMU alumna Corrine Brown has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1992. The district currently runs north-south from Jacksonville to Orlando. But a July 9 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court ordered the district to be redrawn “in an east-west manner.” That could set a pathway for another graduate of FAMU, Alfred “Al” Lawson, to challenge her for the seat.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

FAMU VB features World Championships trio

Pamela Soriano (2nd from left) poses with her Dominican Republic teammates at World Championships
With the 2015 regular season opener just a week away, the FAMU women’s volleyball program boast three players who gained valuable international playing experience this summer in the World Volleyball Championships.

Lady Rattlers Pamela Soriano, a 5-10 sophomore outside hitter from the Dominican Republic, and 6-3 senior middle blocker Ginna Lopez-Chavez, from Lima, Peru, who are preseason All-MEAC picks, and a two-time first team All-MEAC selection (2013, 2014), and incoming freshman libero Valentina Carrasco from Lima, Peru, represented their countries and FAMU in the international championships.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FAMU ranked top HBCU in Research and Development expenditures by NSF

A recently released report by the National Science Foundation (NSF) revealed that Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) topped all historically Black college or university (HBCU) in total amount of research and development (R&D) expenditures in 2013, the most recent year for which the data is available.

FAMU accounted for $51.1 million in R&D expenditures, while the top 20 HBCUs combine had $455.1 million.

“I am exceptionally proud of Florida A&M University and our top ranking,” said Vice President for Research Timothy Moore. “However, there is a lot more work ahead. FAMU is committed to securing our place as a leading research enterprise among all universities and colleges.”