james_ammons_web.jpgEditor’s note: Below is the text of James Ammons’ letter of resignation as president of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, submitted Wednesday to FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Solomon Badger III, to the board members and to State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan.

Dr. Solomon Badger III.
6733 Marion Court South
Jacksonville, FL 32316

Dear Dr. Badger:

Over the last five years, I have had the distinct honor of serving as the 10th president of our alma mater, Florida A&M University (FAMU). During this period, I had the privilege of working with some of the world's most talented and remarkable faculty, students and staff. I have also seen first-hand the passion and support of the Board of Trustees and alumni as we worked to build a stronger and better FAMU.

All experienced university presidents are familiar with two processes they must go through. One is called “transitioning-in” and the other is called “transitioning-out”. My experience with transitioning-in at FAMU had to be cut short. The Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors made it patently clear to me that I had to take charge and move forward immediately to put a competent team of key administrators together in record time, and lead them to meet the many challenges that the University faced with full force. We accomplished that with support from the Board of Trustees and others.

Now there are new challenges that must be met head on. I am determined to move all of the major challenges toward resolution and move our university toward success. When the next president experiences her or his transition in, she or he will very likely find additional challenges, albeit not nearly to the extent of that which I faced at the outset, or those I am now facing.

After considerable thought, introspection and conversations with my family, I have decided to resign from my position as president in order to initiate my retirement on October 11, 2012. Following the presidency, I will continue my work on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives as a tenured full professor on our great faculty.

I am indebted to you and the Board of Trustees for allowing me to work in this capacity with you and the FAMU community. As you and the Board begin the search for a new president, please know that I am committed to assist in achieving a smooth and effective transition.

With kind regards, James H. Ammons President

Cc: Members,
Florida A&M University
Board of Trustees Chancellor Frank Brogan