BOT agrees on contract for president-select

The board of trustees reached an agreement for the university’s president-select after a three-hour discussion this morning.

The trustees voted on each of the proposed changes made by the candidate, so the board could present a completed document for Elmira Mangum.

“The intent is to look at these and vote up or down on each of the entries of the contract,” said Solomon Badger, chairman of the board of trustees.

If agreed by Mangum, her contract will begin July 1.

Trustee Cleve Warren was concerned about the timing to set goals for the candidate.

“My recommendation in the change of language is consistent with my previous recommendation that we approve when we set goals for Dr. Mangum,” Warren said.

However, he was interested in completing the process in one meeting.

“The purpose here is to complete our evaluation process in a timely manner without spending it out and to have that accomplished before the beginning of a new budget year…” Warren said.

Board members were split between raising the annuity in the amount of 15 percent of Mangum’s annual base salary.

Trustee Narayan Persaud agreed that the annuity be raised to 15 percent.

“Let’s look at the total package,” he said. “If we reduce it by 5 percent, this means we will reduce her benefits by $21,000, which will then put her under to where (former university President) Dr. (James H.) Ammons in the year 2007 was.

“What is it that we are doing here?” Persaud asked. “Are we nickel and diming? Take the total package and let’s go ahead and approve it.”

However, trustees Rufus Montgomery and Spurgeon McWilliams believed that the annuity stay at 10 percent.

Montgomery said that if the annuity be raised, Florida A&M’s president would be paid higher than the president of Florida State, which would put Mangum at $550,000 a year.

McWilliams believed that the BOT should look at compensations on an HBCU level.

“I think the SUS (state university system) scale was not the only scale the board was advised to look at,” McWilliams said. “The other scale was the HBCU scale. Look at their scale in terms of resources available. You have to look at your resources.”

He also insisted that the board shouldn’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.”

The BOT also voted on living expenses, transportation and access to a business phone for the president-elect.

Trustee Kimberly Moore, a new member of the board, said it is imperative to consider all input for the sake of a well-proposed document.

“The challenge that we face right now is making sure that we are all comfortable as a board with how we arrive at the very end,” Moore said.

Trustee Marjorie Turnbull reminded the board that problems still exist at the university, and it is important to get the right person for the job, regardless of an asking salary.

“Florida A&M is unique in this system,” Turnbull said. “We offer to the citizens of this state something that no other university does. We have serious problems going forward.

“We need the best person we can get to solve those problems. If she raises money for Florida A&M as she has shown she has done at Cornell, we would be in a much better position than we are now.”

Mangum can now choose to accept the revised document or suggest revisions for the board.