FAMU Board of Trustees Meets to Discuss Past, Present, Future

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The budget seemed to be the big issue, as well as the termination of several employees, but most of the trustees avoided answering questions about former coach Billy Joe and the suspension of the law school dean.

There was standing room only at Thursday’s FAMU trustees meeting, each trustee vocal on the budget but quiet about the recent news that has shocked the campus.

Dr. Castell Bryant, Interim President, said, “It’s not only tough, but it’s emotional, especially here at this university.”

R.B. Holmes, Trustee, said, “She’s making bold and decisive decisions that will benefit this university extremely well.”

Results of a payroll audit were released during the meeting. The report showed 41 university employees terminated as a result of issues relating to payroll policies and procedures.

One trustee seemed in the dark concerning the firing of coach Billy Joe.

Barney Bishop, Trustee, said, “I haven’t gotten a copy of the contract. It doesn’t appear the board wants to see a copy of the contract. I don’t know if there is any way we can tell if Bryant is doing the right thing.”

In a move to cut transportation costs the board approved to have all university freshmen stay on campus and not at off-campus housing like University Gardens.

Chief Calvin Ross of the FAMU Police Department said, "Those students will now be moved back on campus; transportation will no longer be necessary. Therefore, there will be a significant savings for transportation for those students being back on campus."

As far as the president search, a proposed search committee is to be formed by the next trustee meeting, looking to be Sept. 1. Of course, Dr. Bryant can't put her name in the hat for the permanent post since she is interim.