One To Watch

James Ammons begins work as Florida A&M University’s new presidentDR. JAMES AMMONSFLORIDA A&M’S NEW PRESIDENT

By Jason Dehart 

Florida A&M University graduate and former associate professor James Ammons said he’s really looking forward to getting back to his old alma mater. The former chancellor of North Carolina Central University will begin work as FAMU’s 10th president on July 2.

“I had the FAMU presidency as my professional goal – and it has happened,” Ammons said.

As he was coming on board, FAMU faced a financial crisis, with audits alleging $39 million in mismanaged funds, and state lawmakers threatening to strip the university of fiscal responsibility for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

“It is sort of a bittersweet time, but it’s also, I think, an opportunity for my administration and the university, in spite of the issues that are confronting the university,” Ammons said.

He said he will seek to return the university to a clean bill of fiscal health and responsibility.

“I think if you had a combination of additional staffing, with the right skill set, and state-of-the-art technology to automate some of these operations … you may have an opportunity to turn some of these situations around,” Ammons said. “Initially we are going to do a lot of listening, a lot of reading of various documents, and once we have had all our meetings, we’ll take all that information and develop a transition plan that will allow us to hit the ground running.”

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