Mangum out at FAMU; Board approves exit plan

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Published: Sep. 13, 2016 at 7:26 PM EDT
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By: Lanetra Bennett

September 15, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- "Are we forcing her out or is she resigning? That is the question." Asked Jaylen Smith, the student representative on the FAMU Board of Trustees.

"There is a difference between forcing out and an agreement that has been negotiated. Answered Trustee Thomas Dortch.

The agreement was for Dr. Elmira Mangum to no longer be FAMU's president effective immediately.

Dr. Mangum said, "I don't know if I'd do anything different. I just focused on getting the students out of here and making sure that they're successful and that's what we've done, is make sure that students were the center of every decision that was made."

The departure agreement was approved by the full board of trustees during a meeting Thursday. The conditions include paid expenses for Dr. Mangum to move out of the president's house; $6,500 of her attorney fees paid; and a one-year sabbatical at full salary of 425,000.

Trustee Dortch said they got to this point because previously the board wanted to discuss a 45-day contract extension with Mangum, but that didn't happen. Last board meeting, they made an attempt at a one-year extension, but that didn't go anywhere. He said they were pretty much left with Thursday's option.

FAMU student Audriana Osborne said, "It hurts me deeply and it's very saddening to see removal of our president, who we've been working so hard for and who's been working hard for us."

Mangum has been criticized for her leadership skills and lack of communication with the board.

Dr. Clyde Ashley, a FAMU faculty member, said, "There were opportunities with the grad students that we couldn't resolve; opportunities with the parents that we couldn't resolve; opportunities with the collective bargaining we couldn't resolve; opportunities to work with the board to extend your contract. Board of Trustees, it's time to move on."

Dr. Mangum said, "I feel good about what I've done at Florida A&M. The university is in a better position than when I came. I think the students are certainly more focused on completion and I think the institution nationally is in a better place and we have certainly provided an example and a way forward for not just FAMU but for other institutions.

The Special Committee on Presidential Leadership negotiated the departure strategy with Dr. Mangum's attorneys. It was the committee that made the recommendation to the board to approve it for finalization.

Trustee Dortch was the chairman of the committee. He said, "It was a business decision. What was the best business proposition for Florida A&M University. The few months I was getting to know Dr. Mangum a little bit more, but the chemistry has to be right with everybody."

Dr. Mangum's final words during the meeting were: "I believe that it is clear that there is no way forward. I will just suggest that going forward, the board try to place honor and integrity as part of its negotiation for future presidents. So, thank you very much. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve."

Dr. Mangum said she will take the sabbatical. After that, she has the option of a one-year professorship at 90 percent of her current salary

Dr. Larry Robinson has been appointed interim president. This is his third time in that role.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

September 15, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Elmira Mangum is out as the president of Florida A&M University.

The school's Board of Trustees voted 10-1 to approve Mangum's exit plan, which includes her stepping down from the role as president immediately.

The lone vote against Mangum's exit was the board's student representative, Trustee Jaylen Smith.

Mangum will still serve out her contract with the university but not in the role of President and she has the option to take a leave of absence.

Last week the board agreed to pay Mangum $6,500-- a part of her legal fees-- and also recommended allowing Mangum to go on a one-year sabbatical at full salary at $425,000.

FAMU's Board of Trustees now looks ahead to approving an interim president and beginning the search for a new president.

By: Lanetra Bennett

September 14, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Florida A&M University leaders are meeting this week to discuss exit plans for President Elmira Mangum. But some FAMU students are pledging to stick by her side.

Wednesday evening, the FAMU Board of Trustees Special Committee on Presidential Leadership met.

The chairman of the Special Committee after the meeting spoke to WCTV after the meeting. He said they did their best to come up with a plan that allows Dr. Mangum to leave with dignity. He called it a "forward strategy" rather than an "exit strategy".

At the meeting, the Special Committee approved three recommendations to the Board; to appoint an interim president, start negotiating a one-year contract for the interim president, and to form a presidential review committee that would work on procedures for a presidential search.

The Special Committee had already approved the plan regarding Dr. Mangum back on September 2nd. Some of those conditions include paying her expenses to vacate the president's house.

The committee recommended paying Mangum $6,500-- a part of her legal fees-- and also recommended allowing Mangum to go on a one-year sabbatical at full salary at $425,000.

All of the recommendations are pending approval from the Board. The recommendations must be approved by the full Board before going into effect.

The Board of Trustees will review the recommendations at a meeting scheduled for Thursday.

WATCH: FAMU President Dr. Elmira Mangum addresses students at a Town Hall meeting Wednesday evening.

Posted by on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

By: Lanetra Bennett

September 13, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A final decision on Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum is expected this week.

The FAMU Board of Trustees meets Wednesday and Thursday to vote on an exit strategy for Mangum, but some are pledging to disrupt the meeting.

A flyer says, "Protest the firing of Dr. Mangum. No Mangum contract extension means no B.O.T. meeting."

It invites FAMU students, alumni, and supporters to come to the grand ballroom Wednesday night at 8, and sit in all night and demand what they call justice from the board.

FAMU student Jeremiah Carter said, "If my schedule permits, I will be there because we need to focus on our students. Our board needs to focus on our students. That's what our board needs to do. We need to unite as one for our president."

On September 2nd, FAMU's Board of Trustees Special Committee on Presidential Leadership approved terms to end Dr. Elmira Mangum's presidency, upon full board approval.

Some of the conditions include paid expenses to vacate the president's house; Mangum would remain an employee through the end of her contract which expires in April 1st; and Dr. Mangum would also be permitted to take a one year sabbatical at full salary of $425,000.

The Special Committee on Presidential Leadership is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and the full board is scheduled to meet Thursday morning at 9. The meetings are held in the FAMU Grand Ballroom.