Local News

N.C. Central's Ammons Chosen as Florida A&M's New President

Posted February 1, 2007 4:53 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2007 7:06 a.m. EST

— North Carolina Central University Chancellor James Ammons is leaving the school to become the 10th president of Florida A&M University.

In a 7-6 vote, the university's Board of Trustees chose Ammons from a list of three candidates.

Florida A&M has been without a permanent leader for the past six years, but it was not immediately clear when Ammons will assume the role.

"It's a tremendous loss for North Carolina Central University and the community," Durham Mayor Bill Bell said Thursday afternoon. But he said he understands that it is also a tremendous opportunity for Ammons to return to his alma mater.

Students said Ammons was a true leader who connected with them.

"I mean he just inspired a lot of students on campus. I don't think we'll find another Chancellor Ammons," said student Ashley Tedder.

According to published reports in Tallahassee, the school's enrollment and fundraising is down, its accreditation is up in 2008, and it may become a bachelors degree-only college.

Since his arrival at N.C. Central in 2001, enrollment has jumped by 58 percent, making N.C. Central one of the fastest growing campuses in the University of North Carolina system.

The school also has enjoyed a $120 million building boom and has moved its athletic programs into the NCAA's Division I under Ammons' leadership.

Ammons graduated from Florida A&M and worked as provost at the school before assuming the top spot at N.C. Central five years ago.