University officials devise a plan to pull the athletic department out of the red

University officials said they have a plan to clear the $5.7 million deficit in the athletic department.

This ongoing five-year plan will consist of direct mail appeals, E-solicitation, phone-a-thon, golf tournaments, one-on-one meetings   and  corporate advertising according to Carla S. Willis, vice president of university relations and executive director of Florida A&M University Foundation.  

“We plan to approach our corporate partners, alumni and friends, to ask for their support,” Willis said. “Although it’s a solid plan, I feel it’s attainable, however, it is just a projection.”

According to Teresa Hardee, chief financial officer and vice president for administrative and financial service, the committee has taken an integrated approach to the debt, which includes increasing student fees, game tickets, and administrative financial services.

“We’ll be able to control expenditures as we integrate revenue together,” Hardee said.
President of Black College Sports Network, Roy Eavins, made a proposal to help increase funds at FAMU.

“We broker the rights which create revenue through advertising and media rights,” Eavins said.

Student Body President Andrew Collins said he has faith that FAMU’s athletic department will prevail.

“It’s unfortunate that the athletic department is in such dire of financial status, but I have most confidence that they will compile a plan of action that will in time put the athletic department to the top,” Collins said.

According to the Budget and Finance committee report, the governor is withholding 15 percent from the fourth quarter release of general revenue for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

This decision should be reviewed in May.

As a result, there is a spending freeze with the exception of “Critical Needs Only” according to a letter sent to deans from Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Cynthia Hughes Harris.

According FAMU President James Ammons, the university’s general revenue has been projected to be reduced by 24 percent.

Ammons added that the federal stimulus funds of $165 million across the board projected tuition to increase 7 percent.

“We think in a few years we will be out of the fiscal positions,” Ammons said. 

The Board of Trustees also voted to award honorary degrees to Arthur Collins and the Rev. Ernest Ferrell.

Arthur Collins, president and chief executive officer of Public Private Partnership, is also the father of student body president Andrew Collins.

Earnest Ferrell is the pastor of Saint Mary Primitive Baptist Church and is president of the National Primitive Baptist Convention of the United States.

“I’m elated that my father is honored this position,” Andrew Collins said.   “I think he deserves this recognition and honor. It will add to his list of accomplishments but will reaffirm his service to the university. I am especially happy for the Rev. Ferrell for his similar accomplishments.”

The trustees also welcomed Gallop Franklin as the 2009-2010 Student Body President.

Franklin takes office May 2.