Florida A&M University President James Ammons is stepping down immediately after the school’s board voted to pay him more than $100,000 dollars in bonuses in exchange for leaving sooner. Ammons is the latest to resign in the wake of a hazing scandal and administrative problems plaguing the school but he may not be the last. University Trustee Torey Alson says there are more people who need to go too:[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/FAMUPurge0716c.mp3]
FAMU has appointed Provost Larry Robinson to serve as interim president until a new one can be found. Robinson’s appointment will be confirmed by the school’s board at its next meeting. FAMU is facing a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of the band member hazed to death.
Meanwhile, Chief Communication Officer for Florida A & M University, Sharon Saunders, says she believes Ammons made the right decision both personally and for FAMU.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Saunders3.mp3]
As part of the deal, Ammons was paid more than $100,000 dollars in bonuses in exchange for a speedy resignation. Saunders says the money was part of a contract set before the hazing incident.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Saunders2.mp3]
Although Ammons will no longer be president, Saunders says he will remain an employee of FAMU.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Saunders6a.mp3]
FAMU’s Provost Larry Robinson will now serve as interim president at Florida A & M, and Saunders says he is a great replacement for the present time.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Saunders4.mp3]
Saunders added although the board of trustees has set a meeting to discuss a replacement for the president in August, there is no word yet on who is being considered to take his place long-term.
Lynn Hatter of Florida Public Radio contributed to this report.