Trustees set president search deadline

With a difficult re-accreditation process approaching, Florida A&M University trustees hired the Chicago based search firm, The Hollins Group Inc., to find a new president by fall 2007. FAMU will pay over $140,000 to the executive recruiting consultants to aid in finding a permanent president by August 2007. The minority business enterprise specializes in placing top-level executive and management leaders at various corporations, organizations and educational institutions. “I was impressed with the success that The Hollins Group has had in helping other HBCU’s to find presidents and other high level personnel,” Lowe said. “I hope that with the appropriate information from us, they will be able to help us do the same thing.” The Hollins Group has aided in finding executive leadership for both Spelman College and the University of Chicago, to name a few.

Bridgette Flake, 23, a graduate public health student from Memphis, Tenn. said, “I feel that FAMU is going to need a strong leader if the school wants to gain re-accreditation.” Southern Association of Colleges will review FAMU for re-accreditation in 2008.

Kenny Thompson, 21, a fourth year, business administration student from Tallahassee said he feels the August deadline is too late. “What we need now more than ever is a permanent leader to get our school on the right track.”

Lowe said the fall 2007 deadline is necessary. She explained, “August 2007 is not a time that we are saying we will work until. It’s basically a time that’s been established as to when we think it can be done.”

She added that she felt it was imperative to get the job done right rather than quickly.

Prior to putting a permanent president in place however, “much of the ground work has to be laid,”

Lowe said.It is vital for FAMU to have a leader that is going to drive the changes that need to be made for re-accreditation, said Lowe.

“The next president must be a builder, a person who knows how to grow things, a person who will be able to figure out a new niche for the university. What’s at stake is so important that we have to be sure that we have the right person.”