Presidential search almost complete

After a lengthy selection process that began in October 2005, the university is only two steps away from finding out who will take the reins of its top post.

“On Feb. 1, the (presidential) finalists (James Ammons, Howard Johnson and Thelma Thompson) will return to interview with the Board of Trustees,” said LaNedra Carroll, director of university relations and public affairs. “The meeting will be open to the public.”

An outline of the day’s events has not yet been published. Carroll said a tentative schedule shows the meetings should run from 8 a.m. -4 p.m.

As it is planned, “The finalists will meet with FAMU’s 13-member board for final evaluations,” Carroll said. “And March 8 is when the university should expect the new president to be named,” she said.

Campus interviews that took place last week provided students, staff and community members with an idea of how each candidate intended to operate the university if chosen as president.

“All the candidates did very well,” said Student Body President Phillip Agnew. “From what I’ve gathered, students liked all the candidates.”

Many of the university’s stakeholders were also in attendance at the meetings.

“I thought the turnout was good,” said Carroll. “Members of all the stakeholder groups were well represented and showed great interest in the process.”

Information collected from the meet and greets showed that the university benefited from the forums. “The feedback is that we have three strong candidates for the presidency,” Carroll said. Agnew, 21, from Chicago, said that students were in favor of two candidates in particular but would not mention their names.

“The students have helped me make a more informative and well-supported decision (toward who should become president),” said Agnew, a member of the board of trustees. “If the board feels that we have received enough information after the interviews on Feb.1, then we will vote. If not, we will vote on or before March 8.”

In the meantime, Carroll encourages students to “stay informed and to be engaged. This is a very important step in FAMU’s history,” she said.

A schedule for the remainder of the presidential process should be available next week, according to the FAMU Office of Public Affairs.