Ammons announces his Corrective Action Plan for
Operational Audit and SACS, and 100-day Plan
– At the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday, FAMU President James H. Ammons wasted no time in getting down to business as he presented his corrective action plan for the 2005-2006 Operational Audit and the Southern Association and Colleges and Schools (SACS) findings, and his plan for his first 100 days.
“As I begin my administration at Florida A&M University, I have mapped out a plan to restore the university’s financial integrity and the public’s confidence in the university’s ability to manage its affairs,” Ammons said in his opening remarks. “As a result of the SACS sanction and the findings of the operational audit, my priorities are clear. Much of my first 100 days will be spent managing those issues.”
It was only days before Ammons’ arrival that the university learned that its accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, placed FAMU on probation for six months. Association officials cited non-compliance with 10 core requirements, many of which were related to the findings in the operational audit.
“I, along with my leadership team, have worked very hard to develop a corrective action plan that will resolve the issues related to the audit findings and accreditation issues in a timely fashion,” Ammons said. “We worked to achieve a comprehensive action plan that would address both critical issues.”
The Corrective Action Plan addresses both the audit findings and SACS issues because some of the SACS concerns are linked to issues outlined in the audit. The plan has three categories: audit findings that address cash, property and internal controls; issues that are related to policies and procedures; and, issues that have been addressed and will be verified. It contains a matrix which the audit findings, recommendations of the Auditor General, and corrective actions taken and planned. It identifies the units responsible for correcting the issues, and sets timeframes for completion.
“The goal is to have many of the internal control uses addressed by the time SACS visits the campus in early October,” he said.
Lynn Pappas, chair of the Board of Governor’s Task Force and the BOG’s audit committee, attended the new president’s first board meeting. She said she and Ammons had spoken during the last several weeks about FAMU’s critical issues.
“I have known of the problems for the last 12 to 24 months,” she said, when addressing the BOT, Ammons and his leadership team. “I know of the progress that has been made.
“The Task Force’s mandate is to assist in the restoration of financial stability and credibility at FAMU,” Pappas said. “In many cases, the fact finding that we have conducted has helped us determine that it is a combination of areas of concern . . . a broad array of issues.”
She then outlined several of the areas: technology support; fiscal and operational controls; fiscal follow-up; and, targeting the identification of the causes for the financial-management problems.
“This institution has a very important history in this state,” she said. “There is also tremendous pride and that needs to be restored as much as the public trust.”
Ammons told the Board that his plan is an aggressive plan. “I believe, however, that we have the talent and commitment to success to make it happen.”
Pappas stressed that the Task Force’s role “is not to duplicate the efforts of the trustees or to micromanage the Board. We stand ready to assist you. Certainly, the challenges are great, but the rewards are greater.”
Rev. R.B. Holmes, vice-chair of the BOT presided during the meeting in the absence of Board Chairman Bill Jennings.
“Let me thank you for your candor, Governor Pappas,” Holmes said. “We do welcome the partnership. We also appreciate that you will give this new president and the leadership team the space and leverage to fix (it). Together, we are going to fix it. I thank you for your leadership and your support.”
Other highlights of Ammons’ plan during his first 100 days in office included the following:
• Improving the quality of education at the FAMU Developmental Research School
• Implementing initiatives that will increase enrollment at FAMU
• Reviewing the status of the joint FAMU/FSU College of Engineering
• Improving graduation and retention
• Completing the search process for the provost, vice president for university relations, and the director of human resources
• Addressing accreditation needs university wide, in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Law.
Click here to download Dr. Ammons' Operational Audit Findings and Corrective Action Plan (Executive Summary)
and Summary of Operational Audit Findings and Corrective Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 11, 2007
LaNedra Carroll, Director of Public Affairs