Tallahassee, Fla. – December 18, 2011
“I am disappointed in the direction the dialog regarding the hazing-murder of a Florida A&M University student has taken. I know many people who care about the great institution share with me the concerns I have with making sure the current investigations proceed independently and without any appearance of interference so responsible parties may be brought to justice.
“I have not singled out Florida A&M University as I immediately called on all Universities throughout the state to examine their hazing and harassment policies and requested that the state's 11 public university presidents also remind their students, faculty and staff of how detrimental hazing can be.
“Following reports of the beating of one student and the death of another associated with hazing activities, I asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to provide any and all assistance necessary to help find answers through an investigation. After financial irregularities were discovered, I committed resources of our Inspector General to assist at the request of the Board of Governors.
“The FAMU Board of Trustees has already publicly reprimanded Dr. Ammons. This week, I learned of reports of at least one child molestation case that took place on campus, an incident Dr. Ammons told me in my office he was not made aware of until months after its occurrence. Based on all of these facts, I merely suggested it would be wise for Dr. Ammons to step aside until these investigations are completed.
“It is up to the FAMU Board of Trustees and Dr. Ammons to determine how to proceed. I have not and will not try to influence their decision. I simply offered my advice and opinion based on the events and the facts I was made aware of. Like all other Floridians, I will abide by the decisions made by the Board of Trustees and President Ammons tomorrow, and I do not plan to release any further comment before then.”