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Rep. Alan Williams praises embattled FAMU president

State Rep. Alan Williams praised Florida A&M President James Ammons for his bold leadership and for putting university students first.

Ammons resigned Wednesday after the family of Robert Champion, the band major who died in a hazing incident, named FAMU in their lawsuit.

Williams, who graduated from FAMU, has consistently defended Ammons, even as the university's board of directors rebuked him with a 'no confidence' vote last month.

Here's the statement from Williams.

“As a state lawmaker and graduate of Florida A&M University, I am saddened by the announcement of President Ammons’ resignation. From the outset of his tenure, President Ammons has shown strong leadership and has worked to ensure that FAMU remains a beacon of academic excellence.

President Ammons has been a highly effective recruiter of talent to FAMU and he has instilled Rattler pride in the hearts of alumni throughout the world. He consistently puts first the best interests of FAMU students.

Under his leadership, FAMU has strengthened its long-term vision and built on its excellent reputation. In fact, the university has been named one of the most popular schools in the country and one of the best institutions of learning for African Americans, particularly those earning doctoral degrees in the natural sciences, engineering and pharmacy.

President Ammons has brought positive change to FAMU, and I believe he capably demonstrated strong leadership during a historic phase of development and progress at FAMU.  His resignation is a personal decision, but I suspect that it is one that he making not for his own best interests but for the best interests of the future of the university. Accordingly, I am very proud of the work President Ammons has done. And like other supporters of FAMU, I am hopeful that the university’s next president will be given the necessary respect and autonomy to carry forward with the important work that President Ammons has started."

Twitter: Britt_alana