Tyson awaits decision

The university is awaiting a decision by Gov. Charlie Crist concerning the removal of a board of directors trustee. The decision could have a major affect on the presidency of the university.

Jesse J. Tyson, Exxon Mobil Inter-America Inc. president and sales director, was selected for a position on the board by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Crist stated in a Jan. 10 letter to Florida Senate President Ken Pruitt that he would officially withdraw 283 appointments to 100 boards that Bush made before leaving office. From this resolution, BOT appointments for Allan Bense at FSU and Alisa Ghazvini TCC have already been rescinded.

It has not been confirmed whether Tyson will be removed from the FAMU board. However, LaNedra Carroll, FAMU director of university relations and public affairs, said Crist “wants to consider the appointees that were made late in Gov. Bush’s administration, and until he decides what he wants to do about the appointments, the people already on the board will remain on the board.”

If Tyson is removed, FAMU could suffer as the 13-member trustee board finds itself in the middle of selecting the university’s next president.

Board Chairwoman Challis Lowe said if possible, she would like to see Tyson be kept on the board of directors. People aware of the situation involving the board of trustees expressed their concerns.

Student Body Vice President Monique Gillum, 20, a junior political science student said, “I have not had the opportunity to previously meet Tyson, nor have I watched him in action. To my understanding, he has only actively participated in one board meeting. But I hope the governor will do what is best for both the university and for the board.

“Also, I hope he understands what an impact removing Tyson would have, considering the new presidential elections,” Gillum said.

Tyson, who has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lane College in Jackson, Tenn. and a master’s degree in business administration from Ohio University, had originally filled the seat left vacant by FAMU graduate and businessman Corey Alston, who resigned in early 2006.

Tyson is currently a member of several professional and community institutions that include the National Black MBA Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Lawyers for Children and 100 Black Men of America. In addition, he has more than 30 years of service at ExxonMobil Inter-America Inc.

“It looks as though the newly appointed Gov. Crist is making efforts to clean house, but he needs to be cautious in considering how those already in positions will be affected,” said FAMU Sen. Chuck Manchion, a sophomore political science student from Rochester, N.Y.