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FAMU president says he'll stay despite no-confidence vote

June 07, 2012|By Michael Muskal

James Ammons, the president of Florida A&M University, said Thursday he will stay on despite the board of trustees' lack of confidence in his leadership; the college has been roiled by a hazing scandal involving its celebrated marching band.

Earlier in the day, the board voted 8 to 4 to approve the no-confidence measure against Ammons, the Associated Press reported.

“This is very serious for the future of this university,” Ammons said after the vote. “You have my commitment to fix [the problems] and get this job done.”

Located in Tallahassee, Fla., the historically black college has been trying to deal with several crises, but especially the one over hazing rituals at the school’s prestigious Marching 100 band. Drum major Robert Champion, 26, died after being beaten in a hazing ritual after a football game last year in Orlando, Fla. Eleven members of the group face felony charges in the incident.

The Marching 100, which has performed in  Super Bowls and at presidential inaugurations, was suspended after the charges and will remain off the field for at least the next season. Its director retired under pressure.

Despite those actions, critics have blamed Ammons, who became president in 2007, for condoning the school’s culture of hazing.

Some trustees also cited financial difficulties at the school and the resignation of a top auditor after questions arose over some of his reports.


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