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Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini

228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

June 16, 2015

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Members of the Florida Board of Governors State University System 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1614 Tallahassee, FL 32399 Dear Chairman Hosseini and Members of the Florida Board of Governors:

As members of the Florida Legislature and alumni of Florida A&M University, the recent events and public statements made by several members of FAMU’s Board of Trustees – especially its chairman - have deeply troubled us. This letter is to request that the Board of Governors, under the responsibilities set forth in the state Constitution and statutes, promptly begins an inquiry into the propriety of such behavior, and whether members of the FAMU BOT are improperly reaching beyond legally proscribed authority.

Since her name was first advanced as a leading candidate for FAMU president, and, subsequently, after her historic selection, Dr. Elmira Mangum has been a frequent target of FAMU BOT Chairman Rufus Montgomery, whose abrupt and ongoing challenges to her leadership are bordering dangerously close to bullying. Unfortunately, his actions recently intensified at a meeting of the Board last week, leading to spurious demands we believe are unwarranted and detrimental to the effective operation of the university as a whole.

As we’re sure you are aware, the obligations of any university’s trustees are fairly straightforward, and are limited to policy. They ought not and do not include involvement in the day-to-day operations of the institutions; that job is left to the president they selected. Evidently, Mr. Montgomery has enlisted a number of his fellow board members to join him as they attempt to directly interject themselves into such operations, and demand that President Mangum subvert her own authority by yielding to theirs. Moreover, their challenge of her leadership came just as the budget negotiations were underway during this special legislative session, leading more than a few of us to question whether their timing was deliberate.

Since her selection as president, we have consistently found Dr. Mangum to be open, responsive, gracious and attentive. The “independence” so sharply criticized has been an asset, effectively moving FAMU on a deliberate path to achieve the excellence President Mangum has made her top priority and has diligently pursued. Dr. Mangum, and the FAMU community deserve our ongoing support and your prompt attention. We look forward to your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Senator Arthenia L. Joyner

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Senator Dwight Bullard

C:

Governor Rick Scott FAMU Board of Trustees

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Representative Mia Jones

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Representative Shevrin Jones

Chairman Morteza “Mori” Hosseini 228 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 June

Representative Bobby Powell