FAMU trustees vote 'no confidence' in president
June 7th, 2012
01:56 PM ET

FAMU trustees vote 'no confidence' in president

The Florida A&M Board of Trustees has issued a vote of “no confidence” against FAMU president James Ammons.

The vote was 8-4.

“I hear you loudly and clearly," Ammons said after the vote. "I understand there are measures I have to take, as president of the university, to fix things. And I will fix them."

The vote followed a series of investigations into the university following concerns over the hazing death of a member of the band and drum major Robert Champion. The vote also related to financial audits that resulted from the hazing investigation.

Champion, 26, died last year because of "hemorrhagic shock due to soft tissue hemorrhage, due to blunt force trauma," the Orange County medical examiner said.

More than 2,000 pages of police interviews with witnesses and defendants who were aboard the bus on the day of Champion's death paint a picture of a darkened bus where three band members, including Champion, were hazed.

Witnesses: FAMU drum major beaten with drum mallets in hazing gauntlet

Florida A&M band fraternity charter revoked after hazing investigation 

Opinion: Suspension of FAMU marching band leaves void, hope for better future

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soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Jj

    Can some explain to me what "no confidence" means. I don't think it's a literal meaning

    June 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • rufus

      It means they have no confidence.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • OnTheRoad

      It is the same feeling that 90% of the population have when someone mentions our political leaders, only not quite as bad!

      June 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DJ

    Nice way of saying we think your doing a horrible job we wish you would resign but we can't fire you.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Just what can the Prez of this largely African-American University, which is part of the Florida U system, actually do? Given the very nature of the intended population the school serves, this sort of stuff is probably to be expected and surely hard to stop.

    June 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope


      Race has nothing to do with the problem. Hazing takes place in Ivy League Universities as well as fraternities. Most colleges ban it, but, FAMU knew it was happening and did nothing to stop it.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinney - former employee of FAMU

      The band members who favored this type of behavior were NOT all FAMU students. In fact they were much older and felt they had "earned" a right to behave that way. If what Im reading is true this should all come to a stop soon because of the new criteria. I wish FAMU well, this is really a great university.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hope

    FAMU... what a joke! Four people get assaulted, one dies, and there are no arrests? I guess that's why there's zero comfidence thar anything will change. Bar the college from any participation in collegiate events and watch its' registrations wither away!

    Save a life...

    June 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @hope....There were 13 indictments in the Hazing death. Get your bigoted facts together before spewing your slander!

      June 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    @ Hope, like they way you *try to sound witty and smart! NOT!

    June 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope

      I thought you left! Funny that you just happen by at the most opportune times.Just like the freaking troll that everyone said you were!

      June 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. THINK

    Pres,keep all children safe.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Insider

    Threres a bunch of stuff that FAMU needs to straighten out that has not surfaced yet. He needs to resign not because he was directly responsible, but because he thought he could turn a blind eye. He should resign before Floridians really start digging. Let the new leader come in kicking behind and cleaning up the school before ish really hits the fan. This is more than about R. Champion.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BigTight33

    It's not the President's fault that a bunch of "band nuts" were out of control !

    June 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Insider

      When they came in to investigate the band they found more stuff! And they will continue to find "stuff" because Dr. Ammons choose not to rock the boat when he came on board. All the things that have come out about the band that he turned a blind eye to.... any Rattler knows all this hazing stuff was everyday knowledge.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophieCat

      It may not be the president's fault that a bunch of "students" got out of control, but it certainly is his fault that they got out of control and stayed that way. This isn't the first time these shenanigans have happened on his watch, and apparently he can't be bothered to take someone to task, and straighten out this situation. You can't turn a blind eye when a bunch of thugs are running things. You can't just wait for something to get better, you have to step in and take charge and make sure that things get better. This President couldn't be bothered.

      Well..... now he won't have to be bothered with inconveniences like students being beaten to death, or embarassing student behaviors, or those pesky irritating parents demanding to know why their beloved child is in the morgue and no one is talking.

      Oh, such boring, tiresome, inconvenient, trifling things like dead students and crying parents!

      How much more gratifying it is to rub elbows with the elite and hob-nob with big donors, than to actually have to lead an organization.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hope

    Portland Tony:

    How long did that take?????

    LOL at your bigot remark. I seem to remember that you were not in favor of indictments and called them 'children' playing a game. Boys... humm... who's the bigot, now?

    June 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @hope...I would like to apologize for using the word bigot in my response to your comment. It doesn't apply. I still feel the kids, share some guilt, but the administration that turned a blind eye deserves the severe disciplinary action.:)

      June 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope


      Don't worry about it. I'm sorry for my twist of words in my reply, as well. Neither one of us are bigots... we both got caught up in the moment. I understand your side of the arguement and appreciate your compassion.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Meanwhile

    Those of the Shamu class back the liberal spender all the way to the welfare line/Jenny Craig studio.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Meanwhile

    Blood was spilled. All we demand is blood in return. A simple resignation simply will not satisy fustice. Several should be convicted of manslaughter, for example. And it goes without saying that those who knew but didn't tell are in fact guilty parties.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yo Yo Wassup Wassup

      And we want our fustice, dammit!

      June 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Insider

    This vote is bigger than R. Champioin. Research the individual Board of Trustees and their relationships with Dr. Ammons. Research Dr. Castell Bryant and why the alumni ran her away from FAMU before Dr. Ammons took the job. Then you will understand why Dr. Ammons turned a blind eye some departments after he was hired. Then you will understand the context of today's vote. Dr. Ammons is an outstanding administrator who agreed to let FAMU get back to "business as usual" after SACS accreditation was restored. He wanted the job badly and it was understood that he was not going to clean the whole house upon his hiring. Anybody that would have been selected for his position would have had to have the same understanding in order to get in the door.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    hey hope, still keeping the good fight eh gf? Dont let the negative ones bother you or scare you off. And portland tony is one of the good guys! 🙂

    June 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ryan T.

    This vote shows what makes it difficult to lead any organization these days...you become the fall guy (or gal) far too easily, and far too frequently for things that are SO far beyond your control.

    June 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WOW

    A young man was BEAT TO DEATH! When did it become socially acceptable to hit someone? Oh. if you are in the band than it's OK? If you are on a school bus, no school chaperones? You better believed there were teachers and administrators who knew of the bus customs.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
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