Former FAMU Provost Among Presidential Candidates

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"Regardless of who the next president is, we have to be true Rattlers. We cannot be fair weather Rattlers," said FAMU presidential candidate James Ammons, the last of three candidates to address university support staff.

He says FAMU's potential is greater now than it was during what is refers to as the 'golden years' when he served as provost under former president Fred Humphries.

"We cannot have bad audits, we can't. And we can't have bad accreditation reports," added Ammons.

"I think he addressed most of the issues that needed to be addressed. He addressed the questions and was on point with each question," said Altha Manning, Executive Director for FAMU Alumni Affairs.

Ammons, who served as FAMU provost from 1995 to 2001, was asked by staff members how he would bring back FAMU's Rattler spirit.

"I think one thing we'll bring with us is a deep commitment to student success. We need to have everything we do prioritized around how we prepare and serve our students," explained Ammons, who says he has a vision for FAMU beyond minimum accreditation standards.

"I actually enjoyed him. I think he has a good vision in line for the university," said FAMU senior George Olokun.

"Each person has his own faults, but I couldn't personally tell any that he had. I'm sure he does, but you know everyone does," said FAMU freshman Vincent Evans.

Ammons also addressed critics who may have issue with decisions made during the Humphries years.

"I can't change history," stated Ammons.

A final interview of all three candidates will be made on February 1, and the final choice must be ratified by the Board of Governors.

The new FAMU president is expected to be named on March 8.