Florida A&M University Board of Trustees unanimously passed a complete vote of no confidence on Athletic Director Kellen Winslow during a conference call Monday night.
The purpose of the meeting was to receive a report from the President’s Alumni Advisory Committee on Athletics and to consider its recommended goals.
Motion passed with six in favor and three opposed.
Trustee Belinda Reed Shannon was reluctant to vote in favor of the motion. Shannon, the Vice President of Equality & Inclusion at GlaxoSmithKline, expressed her concerns on the BOT's asserting themselves outside of their required duties.
“It is my understanding and recognition that we have delegated to the president responsibility for addressing matters of personal,” Shannon said.
Shannon explained that the BOT’s action on this motion could affect their reputation.
“I think it would set a bad precedent for this board to leap over that authority that agreed upon shared governance to take this type of action. I think we as a board have ignored the issues underlined. I just don’t think that we should put ourselves in a position to usurp her [President Mangum],” Shannon said.
Trustee Bettye Grable, an associate professor at FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, agreed with Shannon.
Grable referred to the Association of Governing Boards document mentioned at the previous meeting to address the board’s role in athletics.
“I read through the AGB statement on board responsibilities for intercollegiate athletics,” Grable said. “Boards should not be directly involved in the process of hiring and firing coaches or other athletic department personnel.”
Grable added that by the BOT's should be careful not to overstep their bounds and interfere with the president’s actions.
“It appears to me that we are reaching down into the operations of the university and I do believe that is the purview of the president. I would like to keep that in mind while as we’re making a decision regarding this issue,” Grable said.
Trustee Spurgeon McWilliams agreed with Grable that the board should not be in charge for hiring or firing anybody. However, McWilliams believes the board should make a statement on Winslow’s management with FAMU athletics.
“The board has the ability to make an independent statement about concern,” McWilliams said. “We’re saying they don’t feel that he has demonstrated what we think he needs to demonstrate in terms of reaching out and developing a relationship.”
Winslow made a public apology last week on his leadership with FAMU athletics. He assured in the statement to communicate effectively to students, staff, faculty and alumni when making decisions. He received criticism for firing than head coach Earl Holmes days before the much-anticipated annual homecoming game against Norfolk State.
The goals from the special committee include: to provide strategic direction and help to develop a long-term vision for the athletic department, to ensure the integrity of all financial and business processes within the department and to assist and support the president and board of trustees in building a world class athletic program.