Citing 'Communication Problems' FAMU BOT Members Give President Mangum Low Marks

Jul 16, 2015

Credit via FAMU

  1. Update 4:53 p.m.: FAMU has posted the agenda and materials for the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting July 21. Trustees are expected to take up the evaluation of President Elmira Mangum.

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The first report card on Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum is out—and a majority of her governing board says she didn’t make the grade.

Tensions between Mangum and the FAMU Board of Trustees came to a boil last month when Board Chairman Rufus Montgomery criticized the president for what he sees as big communication failures:

“Decisions have been made that affect our brand, that affect the future of STEM at FAMU, that affect finances and accounting, that the board wasn’t consulted on," Montgomery told Mangum during the June 9 BOT meeting.

The latest fight is due to the transfer of financial control of the FAMU-Florida State University College of Engineering to FSU. FAMU’s board says it didn’t get the memo.  

In newly-released evaluations of Mangum, Trustees express frustration with a lack of communication when it comes to important decisions, and problematic hires and fires: like former athletics director Kellen Winslow who clashed with students and coaches. Most trustees say Mangum does not meet expectations in the areas of internal and external relations, and her leadership style.

View the evaluation responses below:

Presidential Evaluation Ratings

In the same June 9 meeting, Mangum defended her decision making process.

“We are very busy and if someone needs to talk to us about something they have a question about, the phone rings both ways, as you stated earlier," she said.

The tensions between Mangum and board chairman Rufus Montgomery have reached the state university system governing authority. The Board of Governors says it’s looking into complaints Montgomery has bullied Mangum which were raised by several state lawmakers who are also alumni.

In their evaluations several trustees also express concerns about key hiring decisions, such as Athletics Director, Provost and Vice President of Communications. But in the reports there is acknowledgement of Mangum’s efforts in recruitment, and fundraising.