Florida A&M president resigns

By Alex Veeneman on July 16, 2012

Florida A&M University president James Ammons, who resigned today.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user buddhadog)

The president of Florida A&M University Dr. James Ammons has resigned.

In a meeting with the university’s Board of Trustees, the Board waived a 90 day requirement under his contract to have his resignation effective today. Ammons was originally due to remain at Florida A&M until his retirement in October, according to a report from NPR.

The Trustees appointed Dr. Larry Robinson, who served as Provost in Ammons’ administration, as its interim president. “I am grateful for this opportunity to serve at this critical time in the university’s history,” Robinson said in a statement. “There is work to be done and I stand ready to do my absolute best to keep FAMU on its path of success. During this period, I look forward to serving our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters.”

A spokeswoman for Florida A&M told Uloop that the Board of Trustees were to convene in August to discuss the timetable of a permanent successor to Ammons.

Ammons’ resignation comes after the parents of Robert Champion added the university to a wrongful death lawsuit, in which Champion died after a violent hazing incident involving member’s of the university’s marching band, according to NPR. The report adds that eleven band members have been charged in the incident.

For now, reactions are mixed. D.A. Robin, the online editor at Florida A&M’s student newspaper The Famuan, says there are those who were in favor of Ammons leaving and those who weren’t. Robin added that the Board of Trustees will be asking about Robinson’s leadership, specifically what he can do within the following days, months and the next year to ease the transition.

But on a national scale, Robin adds that there is a strong message to the nation. “Hazing cannot and will not be tolerated.”

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