By: Lanetra Bennett
June 9, 2015
Tallahassee, FL - The FAMU Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday turned into a discussion on the university president's performance. Trustees held a lengthy conversation about what some deem communication problems between Dr. Elmira Mangum and the board.
While some were accused of taking things personally, trustees say the discussion was necessary in order to move forward.
"I clearly understand that there's a problem, and those problems need to be discussed," says FAMU Trustee, Robert Woody.
Board Chairman, Rufus Montgomery says, "Decisions have been made that affect our brand, that affect the future of S.T.E.A.M. at FAMU, that affect finances, and accounting that the board wasn't consulted on. We get told about what happens afterwards."
Dr. Mangum says, "Many of our activities and our plans and our schedules are full, fully loaded, in fact. We are very busy. If someone needs to talk to us about something they have a question about, the phone rings both ways as you stated earlier."
Montgomery says, "You asked me to move the board meeting. Are you kidding, seriously? You asked me to move the board meeting, i said okay, we never move the board meeting for a president, don't do that. Don't come before the board and tell them something that's not true."
Trustee Spurgeon McWilliams says the relationship between the board, president, and leadership team should not be adversarial. He says that everyone is on the same team.
The board agreed to develop a new member orientation to help with strengthening communication with board members.
Members also discussed whether the board should use outside counsel instead of the on-staff attorneys when it comes to certain issues. It was suggested, that way, there wouldn't be any conflicts of interest with the university attorneys. Chairman Montgomery asked that information to consider that suggestion be provided by Dr. Mangum within a week or so.