Trustees fill void positions; audit reveals progress made

The Board of Trustees appointed several staff members to various University positions and discussed a number of recent improvements made toward the university’s financial, athletic and academic programs, Tuesday.

In a unanimous vote, William B. Hayes, former head coach for North Carolina A&T University and former athletic director for North Carolina Central University, was chosen as FAMU’s new athletic director.

Hayes’ three-year contract begins Jan. 2, 2008 and he will be paid $175,000 annually.

Although President James Ammons requested there be a teleconference meeting on Dec. 17. to bring a recommendation to hire a head coach for the football team, Ammons said the decision to hire Hayes was imminent.

He added that Hayes will have input concerning the decision and the board is currently eliminating names from a list, but they have someone in mind.

Trustee Teresa Hardee was appointed vice president for financial and administrative services, and Trustee Robert Seniors was announced vice president for information technology and chief information services.

Hardee said she was very excited about the appointment.

“We have done a lot of work, and are ready to move forward with the institutional internal controls,” Hardee said. “We have done a lot and I am surprised and I’m happy.”

Ammons gave a brief report about how the University’s special taskforce has made plenty of progress since July.

“The audit reports mark a remarkable turnaround done by the audit information technical group and financial service group,” Ammons said.

Ammons discussed the progress in financial services and the University’s probation standing. He also said the taskforce completed preliminary and tentative findings that were submitted to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in a timely manner, which will hopefully lead to a positive decision.

The decision will be made in a meeting in Louisiana by SACS on Dec. 11.

In Ammons’ report, Ammons said this year’s Homecoming concert was a success, garnering $35, 000 in profit, which will be seed money for next year.

Trustee Carl Rogers provided information from the student Senate’s student relation committee report.

In reference to the SRC report, Trustee Daryl Parks said the Office of Housing is working on leaks, students should be made more aware of the meningitis vaccine and improvements have been made in terms of lighting on campus, especially on and near The Set.

Parks said a student safety committee has been established to work with the S.A.F.E. Team on campus and extensional hours have been requested for the recreation center during finals week, to help students deal with stress.

During the meeting, Ammons also mentioned the School of Nursing now being in compliance with accreditation standards and this year’s batch of pharmacy students receiving a 100 percent passing rate.

More than 70 students from the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences took the exam between May and August, passing on the first try. Congratulations were sent to the college’s dean, Henry Lewis, and his staff.

Motions were also passed to discuss future renovations to Tucker Hall and the Gore Educational Complex building.

Over $8 million has been provided to renovate GEC and $14.5 million has been provided for Tucker Hall. The board is in the process of selecting an architectural firm, but construction begins in January.

Alterations haven’t been made to Tucker Hall since 1976 or GEC since 1988.

It was also decided that this year’s fall commencement speaker, Nikki Giovanni, be awarded an honorary doctorate and all units on campus are to be closed during the winter break, except for the 24-hour running units, like the FAMU’s Police Department.