The board of trustees will reconvene in a week to vote on proposed amendments and clarifications after failing to approve the contract for Florida A&M’s president-select this morning.
Within the following week, trustees will share their thoughts and comments with one another and attorneys from both sides as they try to come to terms with a contract for Elmira Mangum.
Trustee Rufus Montgomery had discomfort with the contract as written. Among his concerns was the prospective salary for $425,000 a year, which is nearly $100,000 more than FAMU’s last full-time president, James H. Ammons.
“The thing that jumps out at me is that we’re proposing a significant pay increase, and everyone should be mindful that it’s never going to go down,” he said.
Trustee Kelvin Lawson agreed, adding that he felt Mangum’s proposed salary was out of hand considering where her predecessor was.
“And he (Ammons) was with us for a number of years,” Lawson said. “We do want to have some balance. We’re starting very high, not leaving a lot of head room to move forward.”
Montgomery also suggested that there be clarification on the way the board handles bonuses.
“I propose … a second paragraph that clarifies when a bonus shall be paid,” he said. “We had this problem before.”
Currently, Mangum’s contract includes her receiving tenure of the highest paid professor on campus, which Montgomery suggested be changed to that of the dean of the College of Education.
Other minor provisions include eliminating a driver for the president’s university vehicle and requiring her choice of country club to be in Tallahassee.
Another concern was Mangum’s potential start, which is set for April 1. Some trustees feel that an April start date is rushing things for the university while others feel a June 1 start date is too much of an extension.
“We have an Ivy League superstar, someone who is ready to get here by April 1 in time for the legislative session,” trustee Torey Alston. “That’s going to provide input in the upcoming budget cycle. I am not willing to push back her arrival date.”