Search is on for New FAMU Band Director

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FAMU Board of Trustees Release

Please be advised that Dr. Narayan Persaud, immediately following our lunch break (approximately 1:15 PM) on Wednesday, requested permission to address the Board where he retracted his statements as reported in your article, and offered an open apology to the Interim President, the Board of Trustees, and to the University family. He indicated that he had been advised by his colleagues that the feedback that he had received and relied upon was not accurate.

The minutes of the meeting should reflect the above, and I would greatly appreciate it if you would provide follow up accordingly.

I personally applaud Dr. Persaud and WCTV for recognizing the need to insure that accurate information is reported.


Solomon L. Badger, III
Chair, FAMU Board of Trustees.

Tallahassee, FL - FAMU trustees are raising concerns about the search for a director of bands at FAMU.

The search committee met Thursday afternoon. However, during Wednesday's Board of Trustees meeting, Trustee Marjorie Turnbull said that it is critical candidates are thoroughly vetted.

She said, "Have they ever been hazed? Have they ever hazed anyone? Have they ever been involved with a band that had hazing? If so, what did they do about it, and not just behind the scenes, but, publicly to eliminate hazing."

Turnbull added, "The media is going to be all over this story. We don't want anything popping up after we hire the director. So, I'm assuming that these questions have been asked, that we understand where each of the candidates are coming from on this."

Band director applicants interviewed online last month; and the final four candidates visited campus for face-to-face interviews.

The interim university president told the board that the committee did ask candidates about hazing.

Trustee Narayan Persaud said, "I beg to differ with the president here because the feedback I got from my representative on that committee said these questions about hazing were not asked. They had sort of canned questions. Unless we see those list of questions that were asked, I don't think we can; I need some verification."

The final four candidates include FAMU's assistant band director Shelby Chipman.

Committee members say they hope to hire someone by next week.

Tallahassee, FL - The countdown to a new FAMU Band Director is on.

This person will replace Dr. Julian White. He retired in may in the wake if the Robert Champion hazing investigation.

Right now there are four finalists, and the search committee met for an hour this evening at FAMU, as they inch closer to a decision.

No decision was made tonight as to who will be the next person to take the helm of famu's marching 100.

Today, FAMU went through the reference checks they were able to complete.

Their goal is to contact at least 3 references for each person before making any recommendation to the president.

The four finalists for the position are:

  • Richard Beckford, a high school Band Director in Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Penn State Assistant Band Director Gregory Drane
  • Jorim Reid, North Carolina Central University's Band Director
  • Associate Band Director for FAMU, Doctor Shelby Chipman

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