Trouble brewing between FAMU president and board of trustees

Despite receiving an award for HBCU ‘Female President of the Year,’ Elmira Mangum is facing stiff criticism from the school’s board of trustees.

According to, Rufus Montgomery who serves as chairman of the board of trustees, wants Mangum placed on a 90-day probation plan.

“And while some board members talked about moving forward and having faith in Mangum’s leadership, trustees chairman Rufus Montgomery pushed members of the Special Committee on Presidential Evaluation to place Mangum on a performance improvement plan “and hold her accountable.” He suggested a 90-day plan.”

Good thing for Mangum that Montgomery doesn’t make the final decision. The board rejected his plan and decided to go another route.

But the problems between the board and Mangum stem from the board’s assertion that Mangum is failing to meet expectations in her role as president. Magnum, obviously, believes otherwise.

She outlined a list of challenges that she’s faced since arriving.

“She said when she arrived, FAMU was dealing with the aftermath of a hazing scandal, unfavorable financial audits, changes in top leadership and addressing the large percentage of students enrolled who were not ready for the academic challenges.”

The board will meet August 6th and the Special Committee on Presidential Evaluation will meet the day before.

FAMU seemed to be on higher ground as the school had emerged from a cloud of scandal. A string of good press and Magnum’s award were definitely good ways to show off what the school had to offer.

But as the power struggle continues between Magnum and the board, the way forward for the school hangs in the balance.

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