TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University’s president reached an agreement with school officials to immediately resign from his post Monday, after facing months of criticism regarding the hazing death of a marching band member.
Last week, James Ammons had submitted a letter stating his resignation would not take effect until Oct. 11. However, he waived a provision allowing him to give 90 days notice to the FAMU board in exchange for getting paid bonuses.
Ammons will be paid more than $98,000 in performance bonuses from his last two years in office — and will still earn his full presidential salary of more than $341,000 over the next year while he remains on sabbatical. Ammons plans eventually to return to FAMU as a member of the faculty.
The school’s governing board, which held an emergency conference call to discuss Ammons’s resignation, voted in favor of the deal with Ammons and voted to name school provost Larry Robinson as interim president.
Robinson had previously served in the administration of President Obama as assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also briefly served as the top official in charge of Florida A&M back in 2007 before Ammons was appointed president.
The university’s board spent more than an hour discussing whether to make Robinson interim president so quickly. Questions remain about whether other candidates should be considered, and whether an interim president is eligible to apply for the permanent job of president.
But the head of Florida A&M’s faculty senate pressed to appoint Robinson immediately in order to bring stability to the campus.