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FAMU Trustees Select 11th President In 10-2 Vote [GALLERY]

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Update By: Lanetra Bennett
January 10, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - FAMU's new president says student achievement is on the top of her priority list once she takes her new post.

Students say they look forward to Dr. Elmira Mangum keeping her word.

As we reported Thursday, the FAMU Board of Trustees voted to select Dr. Mangum as the university's 11th president.

She's the first woman in that role on a permanent basis.

Mangum was the vice president of budget and planning at Cornell University.

Chris Johnson graduated from FAMU last spring and is inquiring about returning for graduate school. He says, "I just hope she can come in and change things because FAMU has been getting a bad rep lately for the hazing and then the financial problems and the programs being cut. So, I hope she can come in and change things in her tenure."

FAMU student Jasmine Freeman says she'd like to see Dr. Mangum make some updates to the campus. She says, "I'm just glad that they finally made a decision. It's a female president, so it just shows that our university is really making a change."

A start date for FAMU's new president has not been finalized yet.

FAMU student Chazre Hill says, "I think that it's a good change and that the Board of Trustees has finally come to a good decision and the fact that she's a woman and is the first woman is also very inspiring for all the female students that go to FAMU."


By: Lanetra Bennett
January 9, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - FAMU has selected its 11th university president. The Board of Trustees voted 10 to 2 for Dr. Elmira Mangum.

When it was time to vote on the search committee's recommendation, not only did majority of the trustees vote 'yes' for Mangum, some said a resounding 'absolutely.'

Dr. Elmira Mangum wasn't present for the vote, but, once she got the call, she walked into the Al Lawson Center with a smile.

"It feels great. It's an honor." She says.

The FAMU Board of Trustees voted Thursday to make Dr. Mangum FAMU's next president.

Dr. Mangum says, "We will move forward. We have so many positive things to talk about at FAMU, so many excellent academic programs and student-support programs and we're going to focus on those and continue to strengthen them."

Since 2010, Mangum served as vice president for planning and budget at the Ivy League research institution, Cornell University. For more than 28 years, she has served as an executive at nationally recognized institutions of higher learning, including a stint as senior associate provost at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and vice provost at the University of Buffalo.

Trustee Torey Alston says, "She has experience in economic workforce development, SACS, NCAA compliance. In short, she gets it, she is competent, she is strong. Change is tough. But, I absolutely stand with Dr. Mangum."

Dr. Mangum is the first female as FAMU's permanent president. Castell Vaughn Bryant was the interim president of FAMU between January 2005 and May 2007. The Board of Trustees, upon her appointment, voted that Dr. Bryant would not be eligible to apply for or hold the permanent post of President of the University.

Dr. Mangum says, "Feels fantastic. I'm hoping that it'll be a great example for our female students to understand that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve."

The president of the FAMU Alumni Association, Tommy Mitchell, was one of several people who addressed the board Thursday urging members to keep the interim, Dr. Larry Robinson, as president.

Mitchell says, "You asked him to agree not to apply and he did not because of the kind of person that he is. What we said was, you need to appoint him. You need to consider him."

Dr. Walter Smith told trustees, "This is not the time to change our leader. Now we're saying to him, we're going to get someone else and try them. We don't need to be trying other people. We need to look at the kinds of things Dr. Robinson has been able to do over the last nearly two years that he's been in charge of this university."

Dr. Mangum says, "It was a great field of candidates that applied for this position. There's great leadership in place now in Dr. Robinson. So, I'm honored to be selected from this field of people to lead this university."

Trustee Marjorie Turnbull says, "In Dr. Mangum, I believe we have identified a rising star in the academic world. Her experience in handling a $4 billion budget at Cornell University and transforming their process, her understanding and knowledge of the importance of those very issues that were identified by SACS that put our accreditation in jeopardy. She is fully versed in and fully familiar with."

Dr. Robinson says, "The process played out pretty much as I anticipated. It's difficult. Change is difficult. But, I really appreciate the very kind remarks that people made here on my behalf. I do strongly encourage all of those individuals to get behind this new team."

Dr. Robinson says it's up to the board if he'll go back to his position as University Provost. He is a tenured professor, and also says he has the option to go on sabbatical.

Mangum's official start date and salary are yet to be determined.


News Release: FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Elmira Mangum, 60, to serve as the institution’s 11th president. Upon confirmation by the Board of Governors, Mangum will make history as the first woman in FAMU' s 126-year legacy to be installed as a permanent president.

“Dr. Mangum brings to FAMU the experience, expertise and energy needed to lead the university into the next phase of its great legacy," said Trustee Karl White, chair of the presidential search committee. “She emerged from a noteworthy pool of applicants as the candidate who the Board believes is the best fit for this pivotal season in the university's history.”

Since 2010, Mangum served as vice president for planning and budget at Cornell University, an Ivy League research institution. While at Cornell, Mangum was the senior administrator charged with managing the university's resources and annual budgeting process. She has been credited with helping the university overcome a structural deficit that impacted the university after the economic downturn.

“I would like to thank the members of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the students, the staff, the alumni association and the community for the faith expressed in me through this recommendation. It is an honor to be recommended from among such an accomplished field of candidates,” Mangum said.

For more than 28 years, she has served as an executive at nationally recognized institutions of higher learning, including a stint as senior associate provost at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, vice provost at the University of Buffalo and operations specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mangum also has held faculty appointments at Cornell's Johnson School of Management, UNC Chapel Hill School of Government and the UB Graduate School of Education.

Mangum was a member of the inaugural class of the Millennium Leadership Institute, attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program and Cornell's Administrative Management Institute.

She is also a member of the HERS Board of Directors, the NCCU Creating the Vision Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the Network for Change and Continuous Improvement (NCCI) and was a university chair of the American Association of University Women. She is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

“The Board of Trustees would like to express its appreciation to everyone who invested their time and effort into selecting our 11th president,” said Board Chairman Solomon Badger. “I'd like to express special gratitude to our trustees, presidential search committee and the entire FAMU community for their hard work and support during this process.”

Mangum's official start date and salary are yet to be determined. For more information on Mangum or the presidential search process, visit: http://www.famu.edu/presidentialsearch/


Lanetra Bennett
January 9, 2014, 10:30 am

Tallahassee, Fla. -- FAMU has selected Dr. Elmira Mangum as their 11th, and first female president.

Mangum was selected over John Price in a 10 to 2 vote.


Statement from Chamber President Sue Dick regarding FAMU hiring Elmira Mangum as President

“We congratulate the trustees at Florida A&M University for selecting Elmira Mangum as the new university president. Florida A&M has a rich and storied history of providing a quality education to its students, making significant contributions to research and technology and for being an important part of the fabric of our community. We look forward to the positive impacts Ms. Mangum will have on the university going forward, and the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce & the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County are eager to work with her and the talented administration at Florida A&M on helping them achieve their goals.”

- Sue Dick, President & CEO, Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce & the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County


FAMU Board of Trustee Chair Solomon Badger Releases Statement on Dr. Larry Robinson

“There has been a lot of conversation around whether or not Dr. Larry Robinson would be considered as a candidate for the presidency of Florida A&M University. This is Dr. Robinson’s second stint as interim president of the university and while considering his appointment for a second term during the August 15, 2012 meeting, the board discussed whether an interim president would be eligible to apply for the full time position. After an hour of careful consideration, we asked Dr. Robinson to refrain from applying for the position in order to attract a wide pool of candidates and he agreed. As you can imagine it is incredibly difficult to recruit a talented group of applicants when they feel they are competing against an incumbent.

And no one would be more challenging to compete against than a leader as qualified as Dr. Larry Robinson. He hit the ground running at one of the most difficult times this university has ever faced. Eighteen months ago, this university was immersed in challenges that garnered national attention. Yet, Dr. Robinson was undaunted by the task of helping FAMU implement new policies and make important hires to strategically turn the tide and bring about stability for the university. Dr. Robinson is a man of integrity, he is well respected among his peers, he is passionate about the university and he has worked tirelessly to be a beacon of stability during this transition period. I have no doubt in my mind that he was called for such a time as this!

Therefore it is indeed bittersweet that we have reached the hour where the interim president must pass the reins on to the next leader. We as a board salute Dr. Robinson for standing in the gap for Florida A&M University and helping this great institution return to level ground. I, personally, cannot thank him enough for what he has done for our students, faculty, alumni and the university as a whole.”


Associated Press News Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida A&M University is poised to pick a new president after the upheaval following the hazing death of a drum major.

FAMU's Board of Trustees is meeting Thursday.

The board this week interviewed two finalists for the job of president and could select either Elmira Mangum or John Price. Mangum is a vice president at Cornell University, while John Price is the former president of University of North Texas at Dallas.

But there has been a push by FAMU alumni for trustees to consider hiring Larry Robinson, the current interim president. Robinson was not allowed to apply for the job during the ongoing search.

FAMU's last permanent president James Ammons abruptly resigned in July 2012. His resignation came several months after the death of Robert Champion.


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