Administration at Florida A&M University has a new face, several in fact.
James Ammons, the university’s tenth president, brought six people with him from North Carolina Central University to become part of his leadership team.
These administrators took over several top positions at the university. Among the group are three FAMU graduates.
In an April 24 edition of The Famuan, Ammons was quoted as saying: “I have not planned to bring any faculty from (North Carolina Central), but I plan to utilize those already at FAMU,” Ammons said.
However, he changed his mind.
Ammons said he made that decision to tackle the accreditation issues more quickly.
“With the challenges and opportunities that we have here at Florida A&M we really don’t have a lot of time to train and find ways to work together,” Ammons said.
He felt they already had the tools in place to begin the work.
“We’ve done it for so long and we know each other so well that I thought if we were able to convince them to come that we had a good chance to get off to a great start and begin taking on the issues at the university,” he said. ______________________________________________________________
Roland Gaines, vice president of Student Affairs, is a FAMU grad and worked at the university for more than 30 years before he went with Ammons to NCCU. He said he is happy he made the choice to come back to FAMU with Ammons and said his goal is to make the university more student-centered.
“The student comes first,” Gaines said. “They are our reason for being here.”
He said he has not brought on any new staff but that the associate vice president position is vacant.
“I’m making sure the staff and directors know what is expected of them,” Gaines said. “And I think they get it.”
He said Ammons recruited the best people he could find.
“He’s got people who already understand the mission and what is needed,” Gaines said.
Rosalind Fuse-Hall is the chief of staff in the office of the president and board of trustees’ liaison. Fuse-Hall received her bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her juris doctorate from Rutgers University. She has about 20 years of experience in the university system. Fuse-Hall said she is excited to be working with the team. “It’s a good team,” Fuse-Hall said. “I respect my colleagues.”
She said she likes working with Ammons so it was not hard to make the decision to come.
“He lets you do your job and depends on you to do it. He respects what you do and lets you do it,” Fuse-Hall said.______________________________________________________________
Teresa Hardee acts as the interim chief financial officer and vice president of Fiscal Affairs. Hardee received her bachelor’s degree from Fayetteville State University and her master’s from NCCU. She is also a licensed certified public accountant. Hardee said her lack of institutional knowledge has not affected her.
“While I’ve only been here for a few months I already feel like an experienced Rattler. Institutional knowledge is indeed a critical success factor,” Hardee said. “In recognition of that fact, we have added a former controller, a former associate controller, a former director of Human Resources, and several other former FAMU employees to our team.”
She said she is also excited to be a part of the leadership team.
“President Ammons has a special skill in getting his leadership team to work together for success,” Hardee said. “I am delighted to be a part of the team.”______________________________________________________________
Charles O’Duor serves as vice president for audit and compliance. O’Duor is also a FAMU grad. He said he was one of the first to receive his master’s in business administration from FAMU and has worked for Ammons for the last 10 years. He has more than 15 years of experience in his field.
“I’m coming home,” O’Duor said of coming back to FAMU.
O’Duor said they hit the ground running as soon as they arrived on campus to tackle the accreditation issues.
“We’ve been working very hard,” he said.______________________________________________________________
Sharon Saunders is the chief communications official at FAMU. She is also a FAMU grad and received her bachelor’s and master’s from FAMU. She has had more than 20 years of experience in the field of Journalism and Public Relations. She said she is happy to be returning to her alma mater and wants to promote positive aspects of the university.
“I’m really excited about the university. The spirit here is so high,” Saunders said. “We want to help restore public faith in the university.”______________________________________________________________
Patricia Woodard is the administrative assistant to the president and a native of North Carolina. She received her certified professional secretary rating from Wesleyan College. She said it was a difficult decision to leave her home and family but she feels like she made the right choice.
“I believe in him. He is a man of integrity,” Woodard said. “I came with him to support the mission of FAMU.”