Ammons Resigns

July 11, 2012
By Peter McKay | FAMU ’97 | Email

It’s official. James Ammons is resigning as president of Florida A&M. Here’s his resignation letter to the board of trustees.

It’s a sad day for FAMU anytime there’s a messy transition like this, but the truth is, this was a necessary step to recover from the recent hazing scandal. It was simply never going to be credible to the extended set of constituencies that FAMU answers to — legislators, parents, donors, et cetera — to say that the school was serious about fixing things as long as the same person was in charge at the top.

Ammons led an administration that was tin-eared regarding hazing prior to Robert Champion’s death. For the record, we should note that his wasn’t the only such administration. But you know what, that’s not a defense. The good things he did in other areas aside from hazing aren’t a defense. The fact that he’s such a likable guy — and he is — that’s not a defense either.

It’s also worth noting that no president is all good or all bad — not Ammons, not even the hated Fred Gainous or Castell Bryant. That’s not the point.

Ammons had to go. Forget the state of Florida; let’s say the universe dictated it. This is just how these things go.

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