Four FAMU deans removed from office

Dean of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, Ann Kimbrough, has been removed from her office effective immediately, according to a hand-delivered letter received Monday. The letter was sent from the office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic affairs.

‘’You are hereby notified of a change in assignment and removal of administrative duties as Dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication effective immediately,” the letter said. According to the letter, Kimbrough has been moved to a full-time professor within SJGC.

At this time, the Provost’s office has not responded to multiple attempts at contact. 

Dhyana Ziegler, long-time SJGC faculty, has been named interim dean of the School of Journalism.

“When I was first told, I instantly felt curious – just curious as to what kind of information I could find out and the reasoning behind this,” said Nallah Brown, sophomore public relations student.

The letter gave no clear reasoning for the removal of Kimbrough, but said that the decision was made in the “best interest” of the school. 

“In order to further advance our academic mission, strategic priorities and core values, this administrative personnel action is deemed to be in the best interest of FAMU and the School.”

In addition to Kimbrough, the dean of FAMU's College of Education, Traki Taylor and the dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS), Michael D. Thompson, has also been removed from the top posts of their positions. College of Law Dean Angela Felecia Epps was dismissed from her position on Tuesday.

FAMU Interim Provost Rodner B. Wright issued an updated statement Tuesday afternoon addressing the university dean changes. 

LeRoy Pernell, Dhyana Ziegler, Seth Ablordeppey and Patricia Green-Powell were tapped to serve as interim deans of COPPS, SJGC, College of Law and College of Education, respectively. 

"The former deans of the respective colleges and schools will retain their status as tenured professors," wrote Wright. "This week, I will continue to meet with falculty as we review our academic programs. Interim deans are also meeting with stakeholders and students to discuss next steps as the university works to ensure that all academic units are aligned with out strategic priorities."

FAMU’s COPPS recently came under fire because of its students’ low passage rates of the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam. Reportedly, only 59 percent of FAMU’s first-time test takers passed the exam. 

FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) recently received national attention due to its partnership with the Black Television News Channel. The partnership with the network, which was co-led by Kimbrough, was celebrated in late February with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the SJGC site.