Ammons: "Cannot recall all of the details"
North Carolina newspapers are giving FAMU President James Ammons a lot of ink this week in response to this story involving North Carolina Central University and a satellite campus in a Georgia mega-church.
In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Ammons, who served as NCCU chancellor before coming to FAMU, said he thought the satellite had been properly approved, even though both accreditors and higher education officials in North Carolina say it wasn't.
Ammons both accepted and deflected blame, according to this summary in the Raleigh News & Observer:
"In accepting blame for it Wednesday, Ammons shifted some responsibility to the academic units that operated under him while the program was being created in 2004. He said it was presented to him by faculty members and the University College, the NCCU division that administers distance education programs."
Meanwhile, Ammons told Inside Higher Ed that he "cannot recall all of the details regarding that particular program because I don't get involved in the day-to-day operations of academic programs."
According to that report, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church – run by Bishop Eddie Long, an NCCU graduate, trustee and benefactor - described the branch campus as "the degree granting arm of New Birth's Christian Education Department." Inside Higher Ed said it asked NCCU officials about "the church/state issues raised by having a public university award degrees for a program that is described as the arm of a church, for courses taught in a church, for which tuition revenue goes to a church."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter