And then there was one
FAMU Trustee Laura Branker told The Gradebook today she will NOT be resigning, but she knows why we asked. Five of six trustees who were on the losing end of a 7-6 vote to make James Ammons the new FAMU president are suddenly gone, and Branker is the only one left. The latest to leave: Leerie Jenkins, who announced his resignation yesterday, joining George Allen, Regina Benjamin, Jesse Tyson and former Chair Challis Lowe.
In his resignation letter, Jenkins said he began to consider leaving more than a year ago, but decided to stay after Lowe asked him to serve on the presidential search committee. "I felt the need to contribute to the selection process and to continue the support to what I felt were positive changes at the University being implemented by Interim President Castell Bryant," he wrote.
Branker was appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush and is now serving her second term. She said she has no plans to leave, no plans to be a passive trustee and no plans to be what critics are calling her, either. "Some of the sentiment is I'll be some kind of flamethrower … (but) I'm a professional," Branker said by phone from Washington D.C., where she is the national director of government strategies for AmeriChoice, a national provider of public sector health care programs. She said she's looking forward to working with Ammons and new trustees, and to continue asking questions. Despite the recent resignations, she said, "I won't stand idly by."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter