National News

Florida A&M President Mangum steps down after exit agreement

Posted September 15

— The person hired to help Florida A&M University restore its reputation after the hazing death of a school marching band member is stepping down as president.

The FAMU Board of Trustees approved a separation agreement with Elmira Mangum on Thursday. Mangum agreed to step down immediately. Larry Robinson was approved as an interim President.

Under the agreement, Mangum will continue to receive her $425,000 annual salary through March 31. At that point, she becomes eligible for a yearlong sabbatical and would have the option to return to the university as a tenured professor.

Following the 10-1 vote by the board, Mangum said she agreed with the decision and added, "I believe it is clear there is no way forward."

Mangum became the university's first woman president in April 2014 and was tasked with helping the university restore its reputation following the death of Marching 100 band member Robert Champion. The death of the Decatur, Georgia, resident resulted in the suspension of the Marching 100 and ousters of the band director and the school's former president, James Ammons.

The university reached a $1.1 million settlement with Champion's family last September.

Mangum's two-plus years in charge have been turbulent and marred by power struggles with trustees and other campus groups. Earlier this year, the board refused to extend her contract, which was due to expire in April.

Mangum told reporters following the meeting that she felt good about what she had done and that the university is in a better position than when she arrived.

Along with her salary Mangum will receive moving expenses to vacate the president's on-campus house along with attorneys' fees.

This will be the third time Robinson has served as an interim president. Robinson is a distinguished professor at the university's School of the Environment.

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