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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Lawson wants FAMU task force disbanded



Sen. Al Lawson, a FAMU graduate and one of the historically black college's most ardent legislative supporters, is asking state universities Chancellor Mark Rosenberg to disband the Board of Governors task force created this spring in response to FAMU's financial troubles.

Lawson, in a letter sent this week to Rosenberg, maintains that a just-drafted state financial audit is proof FAMU has "turned the corner and is stronger than ever."

The audit, as reported in today's Times, found FAMU has corrected or is on its way to fixing most of the 13 financial and management lapses outlined in an audit covering the 2005-06 budget year. The latest audit covers the 2006-07 year, and that found seven problem areas but noted FAMU administrators have made significant improvements.

"This work is a testament to the competence of the FAMU staff to discover the root of the problems, implement corrections, hire other competent staff, and document their work persuasively for the State Auditors," Lawson wrote. And for their improvements, he believes Ammons and his team should be rewarded.

"The greatest reward that the staff could receive now is the disband the task force that was established to ensure that this work occurred," he writes. "The presence of the Task Force, its constant inquiry about the campus' corrective activities, and its high profile members, certainly aided in keeping the campus on track; however, their mission has been accomplished."

We'll find out soon what the Board of Governors thinks of Lawson's proposal. They meet today and tomorrow in Orlando. 

UPDATE: Board of Governors chairwoman Carolyn Roberts told the Times she believes it would be "premature" to disband the task force. She pointed out it will sunset this spring anyway, when the task force must present its findings to the Legislative Auditing committee.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:09pm]


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