TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Defying a suggestion from Gov. Rick Schott, the Board of Trustees of Florida A&M University has voted to keep President James Ammons in his post as a state investigation into hazing continues.
The board also decided Monday it will meet weekly on the ongoing investigation into the death of Robert Champion.
In response to their decision, Scott issued a statement which read in part “I believe it would have been in the best interest of Florida A&M University for President Ammons to step aside until all of these investigations are completed. However, we have a process in Florida for the administration of the State University System, and that process has been followed. Like all other Floridians, I will abide by the decision made by the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees.”
Last week, Scott called the chairman of the FAMU board, Solomon Badger, and asked him to suspend Ammons immediately. The board discussed suspending Ammons, but instead voted to publicly reprimand him.
Ammons also has a powerful ally in alumnus Al Lawson, a former state legislator whose name adorns the school’s new multipurpose center and gymnasium.
“Just by removing the president you don’t solve the problem,” said Lawson earlier this month. “They need to give him a chance to rectify and clean up the situation.”
Lawson also noted the school recently signed Ammons to a new five-year contract and that any buyout at this point would be costly.
Last week, the state medical examiner ruled Champion’s death a homicide. Officials say he was beaten so severely internal bleeding caused him to go into shock and die. Four students were expelled for their alleged roles in Champion’s death.
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