Divided FAMU Trustees Offer Mangum Restructured Contract

Car allowances, annual raises and base salary could change the course of Florida A&M University’s history, as trustees closed the week with a publicly contentious restructuring of a proposed contract for president-elect Elmira Mangum.

The FAMU BOT has faced extensive criticism from observers and campus constituents throughout the week for wrangling over details regarding Dr. Mangum’s salary and benefit package. The new contract eliminates a previously proposed $1,000-a-month car allowance, but keeps her base salary at $425,000 a year.

The new deal also reduced her annuity package from 15 percent to 10 percent of her base salary, a point which caused some trustees to balk earlier in the week, given that Dr. Mangum, a vice-president at Cornell University, has no prior presidential experience.

Some trustees fear the back and forth may cause Dr. Mangum, the first female president-elect in FAMU’s history, to reject their offer outright.

If we do not come to a decision on this presidency, Florida A&M University will have difficulty in recovering from this,” (said Trustee Marjorie Turnbull). “We will never be able to hire a president. There is no one out there who will be willing to take a look at us.”

Others questioned the long-term impact of Dr. Mangum’s salary and benefits on the financial health of the university.

“If she doesn’t work out we have to pay her a minimum of $2.5 million. And then if she decides to stick around on campus–I’m not assuming failure– for say another five years, we’d be in the hole another $2.6 million. So we could end up spending $5-6 million,” (Trustee Rufus) Montgomery said.

If Dr. Mangum accepts the contract, she is scheduled to begin her tenure at the university on April 1.