Chairman: BOG Remains Concerned About FAMU

By: Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida
By: Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, June 5, 2012 --

Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida

On the same day that Florida A&M University President James Ammons spelled out how to deal with the fallout of a hazing scandal that has rocked the university's band, the chairman of the Florida Board of Governors outlined a series of concerns it wants the school to address in Ammons' next evaluation.

"The Board of Governors remains concerned with the number of serious issues that continue to mount at Florida A&M University," chairman Dean Colson wrote in a letter to Solomon Badger, who chairs the FAMU board.

Among the areas Colson outlined his letter:

--Questions about how individuals who were not enrolled in mandatory courses were allowed to participate in the Marching 100 band;

--The university's response to allegations of sexual assault against minors at the university's Developmental Research School; and

--Whisteblower complaints that the conclusions of some audit and investigative reports were reached before any work on the reports was actually begun.

Colson's letter also seems to leave open the BOG's options to weigh in more strongly on Ammons' future if the concerns raised by the letter aren't addressed by the board of trustees, which he wrote is initially responsible for overseeing the FAMU administration.

"At the same time, the Board of Governors has retained the responsibility, through the evaluation process, to ensure that a university's chief executive officer is providing appropriate leadership and oversight for all aspects of university operations, including compliance with systemwide regulations," Colson wrote.

"As you conduct the President's evaluation for the 2011-12 fiscal year, we expect the Florida A&M Board of Trustees to include the issues raised in this letter and consult with me, as Chair of the Board of Governors, and Chancellor [Frank] Brogan on the President's performance in these critical areas," Colson continued.

The letter came just days before the FAMU board holds a retreat and meeting Wednesday and Thursday, and on the same day that Ammons released some proposals for dealing with the Marching 100. Eleven people were charged in the November beating death of drum major Robert Champion, which prosecutors have alleged was part of a hazing.

Ammons said the university would hire a special assistant for anti-hazing efforts and will restructure oversight of the band and music department while placing more restrictions on band membership.

"The new FAMU Special Assistant for Anti-Hazing will work closely with faculty, staff and students to enforce our hazing-free campus code and address any and all potential issues related to hazing," Ammons said in a statement. "This individual will help drive home the message that hazing by anyone will not be tolerated."


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  • by Sammie Location: Georgia on Jun 7, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    I have noticed anything dealing with FAMU, the media is always telling the public. However, all of the incidents at FSU have not been mentioned except at the beginning. The media in Tallahassee is what keeping the priblems of FAMU in the public mind. Why don't the people of the area take a stand and say "Enough is Enough" to media. What they are reporting occurs on all educational campuses and not just at FAMU. People need to think back to their Freshman year and the things they did to get into fraternities and sororities. In case you did not know, that is hazing. Hazing is not always physical but may involved mental punishment as well.
  • by Larry on Jun 7, 2012 at 08:48 AM
    It's not even about Ammons anymore! The integrity of the school is at stake! Ammons should do the right thing, step down or be fired! FAMU must survive!
  • by marva Location: talahassee on Jun 7, 2012 at 07:08 AM
    i think famu needs to clean up and start over again famu needs new leadership
  • by Lois on Jun 6, 2012 at 10:43 AM
    @Tammie McDonald--you still haven't learned proper English or how to spell. Certainly you must be flunking classes. Someone needs to tell the BOG that Ammons is their main problem.
  • by Annie Location: Tallahassee on Jun 6, 2012 at 08:02 AM
    The hazing should be unacceptable and Professors at FAMU having sex with students in their office afterhours and taking the students to their home to study should be a punishable crime. I wonder how many parents know what their daughters are really be exposed to at FAMU!
    • reply
      by Denise on Jun 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM in reply to Annie
      I agree. Last count Ammons had sex with 3 girls; 1 gave birth recently and 2 are pregnant now. The things Ammons is suggesting are things that were supposedly already in place so why waste more money on things that the university should have been doing in the first place? According to ex band director White band members were required to attend sessions about hazing. After the death of Robert Champion, Ammons goes on the defense about how the university is against hazing. Bull. Chief of Police and White retired before all stones are overturned and “all” of the truth comes out and reveals that the university knew what was going on but was more concerned with the money the band was bringing in. If the documents White provided when he was first dismissed at the advice of General Counsel McKnight are accurate even he knew. The Board should have weighed in on Ammons a long time ago. He is the chief executive officer in charge of providing leadership and oversight of all operations so how the heck he and the finance department didn’t know what was going on? Someone has to approve travel, write checks, and balance the books which eventually cross Ammons' desk. Ammons is a joke.
      • reply
        by Be Careful on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:47 AM in reply to Denise
        I hope you know what you are talking about and can prove it just in case Ammons sue you for slander. His personal life (if this is true) should not be included in comments relating to his inability to function as a leader at the university. Just a word of advice.
  • by Reeply to Eberyone Location: Tallahassee Marches on! on Jun 6, 2012 at 07:48 AM
    I disagree with Dee and my friend Jim. We need more State and Federal funding ( this does not cost local citizens because it comes from the governemnt) to pay for our travelling expenses. We cannot be expected to travel and be in school at the same time. That is an oxmoron. We cannot be responsible for every little hazing ritual. Everyone in the band likes to get hazed. The girl that complained was not hit 300 times like it said in this paper. It was only like maybe 200 at the most. She didnt even see them because we covered her up so what is everyone complaining about.
    • reply
      by Say again? on Jun 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM in reply to Reeply to Eberyone
      "We need more State and Federal funding ( this does not cost local citizens because it comes from the governemnt) to pay for our travelling expenses"........This is exhibit A of what is wrong with this country. And it is no surprise that it is coming from a famu student.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM in reply to Say again?
        It's free money.
        • reply
          by Say again? on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:56 AM in reply to
          Nothing in this world is free.
  • by Everyone Location: Tallahassee on Jun 6, 2012 at 04:43 AM
    Ignorance is like a rash, itchy and easy to spread. Facts rule over opinions. Can we please move on to some serious news, every institution has its share of problems. The only ones we hear about are those that don't have enough investment from the upper class. Real news is a violent crime happening in the city everyday and the crime rate continues to increase!
    • reply
      by Jim on Jun 6, 2012 at 06:39 AM in reply to Everyone
      They are part of the violent crimes. Investment? They have enough money to bus people to wherever. To pay for per diem and meals. Where do you think that money came from? Who pays for the uniforms of non school member in the band? They need to get back to basics. Spend the money on education. They had a great band but come up short on educating. Some students there need all the help they can get.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 08:18 AM in reply to Jim
        I dont know...the band was good several years ago....it has kind of sucked the last 10 - 12 years.
    • reply
      by Duhman on Jun 6, 2012 at 08:25 AM in reply to Everyone
      Are you kidding me, FAMU is nation wide. There are plenty of "deep pocket" people that associate themselves with FAMU. The problem is that the institution has sooo many issues that they can not stay out of the media's eyes. It is like the bad kid, you know that if you watch them enough they will do something wrong. Famu to me bring up issues such as: Financial corruption, testing and cheating on test corruption, hazing and beatings, faculty corruption, enrollment problems, I can keep going, yet I know that other colleges have problems, however they do not keep messing up enough to be watched and waited on to expose another issue in order to make headlines. FAMU keep your nose clean for a while and then people will forget. I doubt that can happen but there is always a first.
  • by Dee on Jun 6, 2012 at 04:27 AM
    What's really crazy is Ammons wants to hire someone to be the "anti-hazing" person. Are you kidding me? What a waste of money. ALL the employees should be anti-hazing. Let the ones already being paid too much to do too little do their jobs for a change. This school is just an endless black hole sucking in money.
    • reply
      by roger on Jun 6, 2012 at 08:16 AM in reply to Dee
      Amen
  • by True Word on Jun 6, 2012 at 03:36 AM
    BOG remains concerned? BOG has put all it's efforts forth to dodge and sidestep any oversight responsibility it may have. BOG has done everything it can to hold Ammons and corrupt staff blameless. To say the BOG remains concerned is implying that enough time has passed for FAM's financial and hazing disgrace to all have blown over. Yet somehow we need to praise the BOG for remaining concerned? Sorry if the truth brings pain.
  • by Tammie McDonald Location: Tallahassee on Jun 5, 2012 at 07:35 PM
    FSU has had underage drinking. TCC has illegal parking problems. I do not understand why there is such a big deal over hazing at FAMU. The dude wanted to be beaten. The girl was only hit 200-300 times. She wanted this and it was the bus driver that was to blame because she drove everyone to the hazing place. She was white and wanted to watch black peoples beat on each other. She should be arrested too and charged with accessory to hazing and failure to report a murder. She should have all her stemulus money revoked and her license revoked.
    • reply
      by Duhman on Jun 6, 2012 at 08:17 AM in reply to Tammie McDonald
      O.K., now I know that Tammie Mc is not making real comments. They are too "out there" to be a real persons comments. You had me for a few, whomever you are "Tammie". The sad truth is that there are people out in society who believe that it is not the bands fault that there was a homicide. There are people who do not understand why you must attend the school in order to play in the band. Why have all the real students that are trying to get a decent edjucation not march on the president Ammons to declare reform. Again, it is the complain about everything and do nothing mentality of it all. Hey I have an idea, if all the decent students do not pay tuition for a semester lets see what happens. Money makes people listen!!! I know FAMU can rally a march if they wanted to, we have seen it before many, many, many, many times.
    • reply
      by huh? on Jun 6, 2012 at 09:36 AM in reply to Tammie McDonald
      ok, now without the glass of wine... please rephrase and repost.
      • reply
        by Tammie McDonald on Jun 7, 2012 at 03:46 AM in reply to huh?
        I am too young to drink alchol beverages. I have to wait until my birthday which is next May 19th and I will get my ID. I did try to by a no alcohol beer but they said I had to be 21 even there was no alchol. Some of them on the buses was drinking but not in the open but had it in flask inside their hat or music box. The bus driver should have made them breathilizer and that would have made less beating.
    • reply
      by Docker on Jun 6, 2012 at 10:12 AM in reply to Tammie McDonald
      You are right to some extent. The whole place needs to be shut down. There is no one at A&M that has the guts to take responsibility. Blame your problems on a white person and blame FSU. If it remains open it would better serve the State if it were changed into an insane asylum.
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