Mangum accepts contract from BOT

The Florida A&M president-select has accepted the amended contract from the board of trustees.

The Board of Governors will decide whether to confirm Elmira Mangum’s appointment as FAMU’s next president at its next meeting on Feb. 20 in Tampa.

“We are pleased that we have approved the terms of the presidential contract, and in speaking with Dr. Elmira Mangum tonight, she has agreed to accept the terms in the updated contract,” said Solomon Badger, chair of the BOT.

The board voted 8-4 after a two-and-a-half hour conference call to approve Mangum’s counteroffer regarding her contract, with one additional amendment.

The amendment alters section 11.2b of the contract to limit Mangum’s sabbatical to six months, should she resign prior to the beginning of her third year in office.

Before voting to approve Mangum’s contract, it stated that she was entitled to sabbatical benefits equal to her annual base salary at the time of effective termination for 12 months if she elects to continue with the university as a tenured professor, whether her contract expires, she is terminated without cause or resigns.

Trustee Rufus Montgomery said he’d be more comfortable with a contract that said Mangum had to serve a full term as president before the university has to provide a sabbatical.

“If that’s the best that we can do … that can pass the majority, I’ll yield to it,” Montgomery said. “I still, for the record, am opposed to paying people for potential failure.”

According the contract that Mangum approved, she can resign after her first day on the job and legally be entitled to six months of her base salary, which, at this point, would be $212,500, and health benefits to the same extent as provided prior to her resignation.

Mangum also amended her contract to receive 90 percent of her final base salary as president during the first year of her post-presidency as a tenured faculty member, an increase from the board’s proposal of 75 percent.

“When we look at salaries at the post-presidency faculty position, we’re already looking at paying her $382,000, plus benefits, as a professor who has never taught, has never been published and has never done research,” Montgomery said.

Provisions for the university to provide Mangum an automobile for her exclusive use, a cellphone or PDA device that includes a service plan and an agreement that the BOT would provide Mangum 30 days to cure a curable allegation upon asserting an allegation of cause were also amendments Mangum and her attorney added since the BOT last met.

Trustee Kelvin Lawson wanted to strike Mangum’s provision that she be provided an automobile by the university.

“We have a driver,” Lawson said. “We have a state car, and if there’s a dealership in the city that agrees to provide the president a car separate from this compensation, that’s an independent agreement that we don’t need to be a part of.”

Trustee Spurgeon McWilliams said he finds it a disturbing sign for any state employee at any level to expand a provision for an automobile for private use when a car for official use is already being provided.

However, the board failed to reach a majority vote in favor of amending all but one aspect of the contract Mangum resubmitted to the board.

Student body president and university trustee Anthony Siders said he was uneasy about all of the bickering among the trustees concerning what he called trivial issues.

“The student body really, really wants to see her get to work,” Siders said. “We want to see her here. This is an individual we supported; this is an individual the board supported.”

Pending approval from the Florida BOG, Mangum will officially begin her presidency April 1.