BOT selects Mangum as FAMU’s 11th president

The Florida A&M board of trustees selected Elmira Mangum as the university’s 11th president this morning after a 10-2 vote.

Mangum, vice president of budget and planning at Cornell University, will become FAMU’s first permanent female president, pending confirmation from the Florida Board of Governors.

The next BOG meeting, a two-day event, will begin Wednesday at Florida Gulf Coast University. However, approval of the university BOT’s presidential selection is not currently on the BOG’s agenda to be discussed next week.

Brittany Davis, director of communications for the Florida board of governors, said the board is discussing whether to add it to the agenda and will decide within the following two days.

Mangum, who participated in an interview with the BOT and a forum with students and faculty Wednesday, said she would like to thank members of the board of trustees, faculty, staff, the alumni association and the community for the faith expressed in her through their recommendation.

“It is an honor to be recommended from among such an accomplished field of candidates,” Mangum said.

Trustee Spurgeon McWilliams, who voted no, said during a conference call that he didn’t think FAMU attracted a candidate more qualified than Interim President Larry Robinson.

“I think I asked one of these candidates (Mangum), ‘How would you manage a crisis situation?’ yesterday,” McWilliams said. “That candidate’s reply was simply about fixing a pipe or something, knowing full well that problems that we had here dealt with hazing, and the problems at her institution dealt with hazing."

A recent hazing incident involving the men's nationally ranked lacrosse team at Cornell resulted in the cancellation of its fall season and the firing of its coach.

“That was the time to come forth and tell us what they did there and how it would help us here," McWilliams continued. "That didn’t happen.”

Trustee Narayan Persaud, who also serves as faculty senate president, said he kept faculty informed throughout the process of the search.

“All the feedback I’ve gotten thus far throughout the process is that they are in favor of Dr. Mangum,” Persaud said.

Cornell Provost Kent Fuchs released a statement hours after Mangum's selection.

“We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Florida A&M University for the selection of Elmira Mangum as its next president,” Fuchs said. “This is a visionary choice by FAMU’s trustees and a great accomplishment for Elmira.”

Donovan Harrell contributed to this article.