“We have been aware of the Board of Governor’s investigation and the topics under review. We appreciate their hard and dedicated work, which has culminated in these reports. We will thoroughly review the reports and determine the corrective actions we may need to take.
We have been, for the past year, working to address many of the concerns cited in the reports. We have developed and implemented many new policies and procedures already and have others in process.
The university has enhanced eligibility requirements for band participation, strengthened membership intake processes for clubs and organizations, revised procedures for group travel and increased awareness of our anti-hazing policy and initiatives.
In the Division of Audit and Compliance, we have hired a new vice president, hired Sniffen and Spellman, P.A. to perform an audit of the 15 incomplete audits, and we are implementing corrective action plans. In terms of P-Card use, we enhanced the management and oversight of P-Card use and conducted a mandatory training session for all users. In the travel department, we have enhanced the approval process for band travel and revised the process to issue funds to travelers.
To support our zero tolerance for hazing, we have developed a clear roadmap for the reporting and investigation of hazing complaints. We have created the position of special assistant to the president for anti-hazing, who would be responsible for tracking all complaints and ensuring they are fully investigated and resolved.
We have also created two new positions in our Division of Student Affairs — a director of judicial affairs and a coordinator of judicial affairs — to provide additional support and oversight and have developed an anti-hazing website that would be both a resource for information and an avenue for students to seek help and report hazing.
We have also enhanced and clarified the criteria for future band membership while separating the duties of the Director of Marching and Pep Bands from that of the chairman of the FAMU Music Department. Another new position – a music compliance officer – will ensure that only students who meet the criteria will participate in the bands.
We are working to formally codify these guidelines and procedures to ensure that they are in place for all future administrations.
These are just a few of the actions that we have taken or are underway in each of these areas. We will continue to monitor these areas to ensure that we are getting the desired results. Our goal is to make FAMU an even safer environment for our students and ensure that our students benefit from our strong academic programs.”