On Thursday, the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) is scheduled to vote on an exit plan for President Elmira Mangum.
An article in the Florida Times-Union reported that the agreement “allows Mangum to take administrative leave for the remainder of her contract that expires March 31. Under the agreement, Mangum would still be eligible for a one-year sabbatical and tenured faculty position after that. The Board of Trustees would also pay her moving expenses to vacate the president's mansion up to $7,500, as well as a portion of her attorney's fees, anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000. Mangum would let trustees know by October 2017 if she did not want to take the faculty position.”
That means Famu would pay Mangum the remainder of her full $425,000 salary (about $35,416 per month) from September 15 until the end of her contract on April 1st and then pay her another $425,000 for a sabbatical year for 2017-2018. She’d also be eligible to return to FAMU as a tenured professor at a salary of 90 percent of her former presidential pay ($382,500) for 2018-2019.
All that adds up to about $1,037,704 until June 30, 2019. It doesn’t include how much Mangum would make if she takes the contract option to stay on the faculty after 2019 and receive a salary that matches what the highest paid instructor receives.
But the $1M+ FAMU would have to pay for Mangum’s exit from September 15, 2016 to June 30, 2019 is still much less than what FAMU is projected to lose because of the Enrollment decline this year.
The university’s enrollment in Fall 2015 dropped to 9,920 (down from 10,233 in Fall 2014) under Mangum. That decline cost FAMU $9M+ from tuition and fee losses. FAMU expects to lose up to another $10.5M due to its projected loss of 920 students in 2016-2017.
Historically black universities like North Carolina A&T University and North Carolina Central University have succeeding in reversing their enrollment declines and bringing in freshman classes with 3.0+ GPAs at the same time.
FAMU also had growth in enrollment (up until the 2011 federal financial aid program overhaul) and freshman classes with 3.0+ GPAs under former President James H. Ammons.
FAMU must get its recruitment program in gear right now during the fall semester in order to compete for the best high school students. Mangum hasn’t shown that she has the leadership skills to reverse the enrollment drop at FAMU like NCA&T Chancellor Harold Martin and NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White have at their universities. Mangum is full of excuses about enrollment at a time when Martin and Saunders-White are bringing results.
FAMU can’t afford to take on another $9M+ loss in tuition and fees again in 2017-2018. The BOT should take the right steps to make sure FAMU has a president who has the skills to recruit the number of top students FAMU needs to stop the enrollment decline.