FAMU Trustees To Address Financial Irregularities; BOG 'Monitoring' Issues
Update: The Florida Board of Governors is checking up on several financial issues at Florida A&M University. Many parts of the BOG's request are similar to concerns being raised by FAMU's own trustees who are holding an emergency meeting Thursday.
In September Florida's Board of Governors issued this letter to FAMU Vice President of Audit and Compliance confirming it is monitoring several issues regarding President Elmira Mangum's Administration.
Many of the Board of Governor's inquiries are related to well-publicized issues, such as the conflict between FAMU Board Chairman Rufus Montgomery and President Elmira Mangum. It's also looking into how a convicted felon was hired in FAMU's Office of Communications. in August, WFSU reported Santoras D. Gamble's hiring. He was convicted of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. His wife, Brittanian Gamble, is among a half dozen administrators who were given "signing bonus". FAMU's Trustees are looking into how those bonuses were awarded.
- Brittanian Gamble (wife of Santoras Gamble) $5,000
- FAMU CFO Dale Cassidy $15,000
- Provost Marcella David $15,000
- John Michael Lee $5,000
- Athletics Director Milton Overton $25,000
According to a FAMU Spokeswoman, "the official accounting records of the University reflect that all of these payments have all been charged to a legally authorized funding source, according to the CFO's office.
The memo also notes ongoing concerns regarding FAMU's Athletics deficit, and the school's workplan. The Board of Governors has expressed concerns FAMU's proposals for academic improvement aren't ambitious enough and recently appointed their Audit Committee Chairman Adam Levine, to work with the school.
FAMU's Board of Trustees meets Thursday morning in an emergency session to address what it's calling "financial improprieties" under Mangum's tenure.
Original Story: Florida A&M University’s Board is holding an emergency meeting Thursday. The board will probe what it’s calling financial irregularities under President Elmira Mangum’s tenure. FAMU’s Board of Trustees gave Mangum a negative performance evaluation for her first year on the job, and followed that up by recently denying her a bonus.
Several issues that have been bothering the board are set to be addressed during an emergency meeting of the board. Members will discuss the awarding of so-called “signing bonuses” to several top administrators Mangum has hired, such as Provost Marcella David and the school’s new athletics Director Milton Overton. David received a $15,000 signing bonus and Overton received $25,000. Trustees allege David's bonus, which came from state appropriated E&G funds could be a violation of state law.
In August WFSU reported on school administrators being hired with supplements not reported on the official state payroll.
Trustees will also address a $300,000 renovation to the President’s House and the construction of a $70,000 garage addition. The garage was funded using state dollars. A FAMU spokeswoman says Mangum did not ask for or approve the project.
According to FAMU: The staff of the Facilities Planning Department determined the scope of work, construction material, and the means and method for carrying out the work. Their objective was to ensure that the architectural design of the garage was compatible with the home. The President was not made aware of the cost of the work, which was approved and executed by the staff of the Facilities Planning Department.
The source of funds was state school construction money, known as PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay).
The President’s contract states she can’t approve projects over 10,000 without board approval. A memo sent to trustees from FAMU’s audit director states there are no documents related to board notification or purchase orders for either project.
Mangum and the Board have been at odds almost from the start of her tenure. She has publicly accused Chairman Rufus Montgomery of bullying and several trustees say their relationship with the president is not improving.