Board of Trustees breaks down finances


President James Ammons deferred a bonus of more than $80,000 at the recent Board of Trustees meeting after accepting a bonus of more than $100,000 last year.

The meeting began with the introduction of board members and distinguished guests. Among the guest was trustee and FAMU SGA President Gallop Franklin. Franklin was recently named part of the sixth class of the Gubernatorial Fellow Program by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. 

Franklin noted that the meeting would be one of utmost importance.

“We cover a large landscape of students, faculty and community that we impact so naturally we have a very large scope of work,” said Franklin. 

Ammons talked about the new enrollment record of over 13,355 students, including the largest entering class for the College of Law.

Transfer students from the University of Central Florida and Tallahassee Community College combined to provide 224 incoming students.

Ammons said that the state of Florida’s economy, budget and potential layoffs were probably the most important topics.

“Those issues kind of dominated the discussion over the last two days,” said Ammons.

The pending threat of budget cuts, in the absence of stimulus dollars, was also discussed by Ammons.

“What I hope will happen is that legislature, the governor, and all of the decision makers for the state of Florida will fully understand the impact that these cuts are having on the very institutions that can rebuild and advance the economy of the state of Florida,” said Ammons.

Another important focal point of the meeting was President Ammons’ contract and bonus.  When Ammons began his tenure as president at the university, his contract included a clause that entitled him to a bonus depending on his level of progress and achievements.

According to public records, Ammons’ receives an annual salary of just over $300,000 dollars. The bonus he would be eligible for is between 15 to 30 percent of his salary. This equals out to an additional payout of approximately $81,000.

Thus far Ammons has decided to forgo receipt of his bonus stating that it wouldn’t be right with the current state of the economy. William Jennings, chair of the board of trustees, will negotiate a restructured contract and submit it to the board at the end of the year.