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Rep. Corrine Brown says Gov. Rick Scott is focusing too much on FAMU

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown late Friday criticized Gov. Rick Scott for pushing Florida A&M President James Ammons to step down from his post amid hazing investigations, joining a chorus of angry students and alumni who say Scott is exceeding his authority.

"By carrying out this action, you may very well jeopardize the academic accreditation of FAMU, one of our nation's finest Historically Black Colleges and Universities," she said.

Brown said the death of Robert Champion -- officially ruled a homicide on Friday --  is tragic but "needs to be put into perspective" because other universities have had problems with hazing too.

"Yet focusing excessively on one incident at just one school is not the answer or the proper path towards correcting this problem," she said.

Scott met with Ammons on Friday after students protested at his mansion the night before. He remained insistent that Ammons step down while a few investigations take place. Ammons said they had a great talk and he is considering the request. The Board of Trustees meets Monday to discuss the matter.

Here's the entirety of Brown's letter:

Dear Governor Scott:

As a proud alumni of Florida A&M University (FAMU), I am extremely disappointed with your effort to suspend the university's President, Dr. James Ammons.  By carrying out this action, you may very well jeopardize the academic accreditation of FAMU, one of our nation's finest Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Although we are all very saddened by this tragic incident, I strongly believe that it needs to be put into perspective.  There have been numerous incidents involving hazing in Florida schools prior to this occurrence, such as one that occurred at the University of Miami, one at the University of Central Florida, and another, at Florida State University, which have led to the state laws currently in place regarding hazing.

However, to single out FAMU and make this school a scapegoat is entirely unfair. Dr. Ammons has had an illustrious career, which began with his studies at FAMU.  And let us not forget that there was a time when top FAMU school administrators could not even be in the same room to consult with administrators from other Florida colleges and universities.

Indisputably, FAMU is a national treasure, which we are fortunate to have right here in Florida. FAMU is a university with eight fully funded endowed eminent scholars, including two in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications, four in the School of Business and Industry, one in the College of Education, and one in its School of Pharmacy, which is one of the top Pharmacological programs in the nation, and graduates the largest number of African American pharmacists in the United States.

In fact, in September, 2006, Black Enterprise Magazine, named Florida A&M the number-one college for African Americans in the United States. FAMU is also a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, was selected as the TIME Magazine-Princeton Review "College of the Year," and was cited in 1999 by Black Issues in Higher Education for awarding more baccalaureate degrees to African-Americans than any institutions in the nation.  Moreover, there are a number of FAMU graduates here in Congress, including myself, the Honorable  Alcee Hastings, Congressman David Scott of Georgia, Congressman Al Green of Texas, the Honorable Congresswoman Carrie Meek and Congressman Kendrick Meek.

Lastly, a suspension of President Ammons threatens the University's compliance with Comprehensive Standard 3.2.4, which states that "The governing board is free from undue influence from political, religious or other external bodies, and protects the institution from such influence...(and) a violation of this critical standard seriously jeopardizes a University's accreditation.

Again, this is a tragic situation. I am praying for the family of Robert Champion and the rest of the FAMU family.  Yet this is part of a much larger problem. Certainly, issues relating to hazing and bullying are not limited to FAMU or to black colleges but to schools nationwide and need to be addressed.  Yet focusing excessively on one incident at just one school is not the answer or the proper path towards correcting this problem.

I would very much appreciate a response to this most urgent matter at your earliest possible convenience.  Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Corrine Brown
Member of Congress

Comments

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harry houdini

Unbelievable that this Member of Congress, who is one of the most corrupt elected officials in the country, would attempt to explain away a homicide because she wants to maintain the status quo of her alma mater, thus once again enhancing her political influence. I sure hope that the Governor stands tall regarding his correct decision. By the way, this Member of Congress and her lobbyist daughter, are only a few "slips" away from jail time anyway.

nellpost

harry needs to back up his accusations with facts OR be prosecuted for slander. IMO.

NativeGuy

Harry, you are correct about most of the information in your Post but the Accreditation status of any university can be placed in jeopardy by the Executive branch of government becoming involved in the day to day operations of an educational institution. The situation at FAMU needs to be fully investigated and corrective actions , if warranted, need to be taken, let’s let the law enforcement agencies do their job and then act and act with courage and let the chips fall where they may

George Fuller

If there were historically white only colleges and universities would people call that racist?

Why are there black colleges still?

When do the Hispanics and orientals start with their own colleges?

Bob

Wondering if this article is true?

EddyJ

While FAMU is a historically black institution, many whites and other races attend. It's not the school's fault that blacks were not able to attend historically white institutions for many years though their tax dollars supported those same schools.

Lucy G.

A young man is beaten to death at a state university and the governor shouldn't be involved? Get your head on straight, Corrine Brown. Evidence is showing that this is not an isolated incident and I can't believe that school administration didn't sanction hazing. They just don't like it that it's now public knowledge. And neither do you.

JAD

Lucy get a grip.

west coast guy

Bob, I don't know if the article is true, but I do know it is 12 years old. Have anything from this century?

shawn

I agree, the governer should have some say in this unforunate matter. But it will not be fair if FAMU loses its accredidation becuase of an "hazing" incident..the students/ administration involved should be punished..not the 14,000 students who attend the University...tell me why should the innocent be punished?
Many students will literally have no where else to go...the decision would be beyond ridiculous.

Willie Williams

George, All colleges and universities that are not historically black are historically white.
(Historically) Black colleges still exist because they excel in educating students to compete in this "still racist society". Hispanics and Orientals did not come to this country in bondage and oppressed as blacks did as slaves. And, all colleges and universities were open to them.

John Pru

The bus is the crime scene and FAMU's financial reporting has no integrity. The hazing fas risen to a homicide and the positive leadership provided by Ammon's is headed for the ditch. Unless anyone knows something specific then stop the foolish babble and let's see where the investigations go!

Thinkaboutit

While Scott continues to be a total turd, and it is true that FAMU is a meritorious institution, this does not diminish the facts of what has been allowed to go on at FAMU. The medical examiner has ruled the death of Robert Champion a homicide. Heads have rolled at Penn State including the President, and criminal charges are being pursued.

harry houdini

How is this different from the Penn State case? You tell me !

harry houdini

Hey Nell or whatever your name is. Its not slander! What, are you some kind of attorney. She is an out and out FRAUD! Take that to the jury and don't threaten me. I don't respond well to threats! And once again, give me a FUC.IN BREAK!!!!

Gary

Want a Better Picture of Who Corrine Brown is ?

Go to You Tube
Type in "Go Gattas"

You Got To View this "Speech"

Draw Your Own Opinion

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