Florida A & M University President James Ammons will be awarded a salary bonus of $113,750 following a unanimous trustee board vote Tuesday.
Trustees relied on the legal wording of Ammons’ contract to award the bonus check. The contract authorizes the board to grant a performance bonus of 25-35 percent.
“We have a responsibility of honoring all legally binding contracts and not picking and choosing which contract we honor and which we do not,” said Bill Jennings, chairman of the board of trustees.
Other trustees didn’t agree.
“Maybe you all have something different in Florida than we have in North Carolina…we’re laying off teachers,” said Trustee Robert Brown.
The economic downturn, which was not up for discussion during the meeting, has caused administrators to cut almost $16 million from FAMU’s 2009-2010 operational budget.
“I just think…the best way we can help our people right now is to make sure everybody keeps their jobs,” Brown said.
The state of Florida covers $225,000 of Ammons’ annual salary of $325,000, while the FAMU Foundation covers the rest. The board chose to award Ammons’ a 35-percent performance bonus.
Florida Atlantic’s Frank Brogan and Florida State’s T.K. Wetherell have opted not to take recent bonus awards. There is no word yet on whether Ammons’ will accept the bonus.