Thursday after the third round of interviews, the Board of Trustees chose James Ammons as the new University president.In a meeting that lasted from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., the trustees made a decision that will shape the future of the FAMU community.
But it is probably safe to say that he had won the presidency long before the doors to the Grand Ballroom opened Thursday morning.
Trustee R.B. Holmes told the Tallahassee Democrat
“The search is over” on Jan. 26, and on Wednesday Ammons was greeted like a long-lost brother on “The Hill,” with all the fanfare and rallies awarded to the winner.
But we must ask ourselves if his selection was based on his qualifications and vision or his friendships and ties to the University.
A product of the “Golden Era,” the new president served as FAMU’s provost while the University was at its height, being named 1997 College of the Year by the Princeton Review.Leadership at the University has been troubled since President Frederick Humphries’ departure in 2002.
But we have persevered through the Henry Louis III, Fred Gainous and Castell Bryant administrations to arrive in this Ammons era.
As a University, we must learn to look outside the Rattler family for guidance.
We have been led by our own to the low point we rest in now.Old problems such as recruitment, financial management and retention will only be compounded with the threat of losing accreditation.
Let us hope that Ammons’ solutions for the school’s plethora of issues will provide a fresh perspective on a storied University.
Robbyn Mitchell for the Editorial Board.