Updated: McWilliams Resigns from FAMU BOT

Courtesy of Rattler Nation

Longtime Florida A&M University Trustee Spurgeon McWilliams, resigned from the Board Of Trustees Wednesday evening.

McWilliams was appointed to the BOT, the university’s governing body, in 2006 by the Board of Governors. He was reappointed to a second five-year term in 2011.

McWilliams is the second trustee to step down in the past month. Lucas Boyce resigned in late September.

The 13-member body is now short two trustees.

McWilliams’ resignation comes after two failed votes to fire FAMU’s University President, Elmira Mangum, last Thursday. McWilliams was one of the trustees who voted in favor of Mangum’s termination.

The emergency meeting led to a student rally in support of Mangum. The next day, trustee Rufus Montgomery stepped down from his post as chairman, but is still a member of the Board.

McWilliams composed a letter to State University System Chancellor, Marshall Criser saying: 

“Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees effective today, October 28, 2015. It has been my esteemed pleasure to serve my alma mater in this capacity and I wish the best for Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.”

He was the only current board member to vote against hiring Mangum in January 2014.

McWilliams, a Florida A&M graduate, is a retired physician who lives in Tallahassee.

He was chairman of the board’s Facilities and Planning Committee, the body that oversees university construction projects. One of the issues that board members raised during an attempt to fire Mangum was the cost for work on the president’s house.

He is also a memeber of the Alumni Association, and a member of the FAMU Booster Club.

McWilliams said during the meeting that requests for the work never came before his committee. 

Mangum offered a written statement expressing her appreciation for McWilliams' accomplishments as a Board member and chair of the board’s Facilities and Planning Committee.

"On behalf of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, I would like to thank alumnus Dr. Spurgeon McWilliams for nearly five years of service to the FAMU community as a member of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Facilities Planning Committee," she said in a wriiten statement. "Under his leadership as chair of the Facilities Planning Committee, FAMU opened its largest housing facility to date, the state-of-the-art FAMU Village, which now houses several of our Living-Learning Communities." 

She concluded, "His wisdom and oversight played a key role in many other key renovations and constructions that have helped to improve our academic offerings, research facilities, and campus."

The Board is now led by Kelvin Lawson, vice chairman.