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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

BOG chairman calls attention to "a number of serious issues" at FAMU

It's more than hazing, and it's more than fabricated audits.

Recent trouble at Florida A&M University also includes lagging graduation rates, issues in academic programs and even sexual assault reported at its K-12 developmental research school. Those problems and others prompted Board of Governors Chairman Dean Colson to pen a strongly worded letter to the chairman of FAMU's Board of Trustees on Monday, asking to see a review of FAMU President James Ammons.

Ammons, who came to FAMU nearly five years ago at a time when FAMU was in similarly hot water, was evaluated earlier this year, but the review only covered the previous fiscal year -- July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, just missing the events that have put FAMU in the headlines. FAMU band member Robert Champion died in November in what police called a hazing incident. A whistle-blower complaint into questionable audits lead to an external review and the resignation of FAMU's former audit leader a few weeks before that.

Colson wants a review of Ammons that includes those issues and more, specifically spelling out the following: 

  • The extent of any efforts to improve FAMU’s first-time-in-college (FTIC) graduation rates
  • The administration’s response to improprieties alleged against multiple senior-level administrators
  • The administration’s response to the whistle-blowers’ cases regarding the FAMU Vice President of Audit and Compliance’s submission of fraudulent audit summaries to the FAMU Board of Trustees
  • The administration’s response to reported sexual assaults of minors at the FAMU Developmental Research School
  • Issues raised by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and certain programmatic accreditation organizations
  • University controls relative to band participation by individuals not enrolled in FAMU’s mandatory course(s).

The FAMU Board of Trustees meets on Wednesday and Thursday.

The letter sent Monday by Colson follows up on one he sent to all the university boards of trustees last month, reminding them that BOG regulations require that university presidents must undergo evaluations each year by their respective boards. Those evaluations, the regulations state, must be reviewed by the Board of Governors.


[Last modified: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 4:46pm]


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