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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

How bad is it?



Florida A&M University will find itself in a "perfect storm" - and may already be in one - if it doesn't get its financial and accounting problems under control, a key Board of Governors member said Thursday. If things aren't righted soon, FAMU could find its bonding status "compromised" and jeopardize its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said Lynn Pappas, who chairs the task force formed by the board last week to watchdog FAMU's finances.

Florida's only historically black public university "is headed toward, if not in, what I would characterize as the midst of a perfect storm," Pappas told other members of the board, which oversees the state university system and was in Gainesville for a regularly scheduled meeting.

Pappas' dire assessment comes on the same day the board is expected to ratify James Ammons as FAMU's new president. Ammons, a former FAMU Provost and current chancellor of North Carolina Central University, was selected by the FAMU Board of Trustees last month in a 7-6 vote. Since then, FAMU's problems have flared anew, with hundreds of employees not getting paychecks on time and a blistering state audit that found 35 problems with accounting and finances.

"These are concerns that deserve our absolute and committed attention," said Pappas, whose task force holds its first meeting tomorrow.

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:15am]


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