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Florida A&M, new president reach salary deal

Published March 3, 2007


TALLAHASSEE - Florida A&M University has tentatively agreed to pay its next president, James Ammons, a $325,000 annual base salary.

He also would have a chance to earn a performance-based bonus of up to $113,750, a common feature of university president contracts in Florida.

The executive committee of the university's board of trustees approved the proposed contract Thursday. The full board is scheduled to affirm its selection of Ammons, a Florida A&M graduate who now is chancellor of North Carolina Central University, on March 8.

The proposed contract would pay Ammons $25,000 more than interim president Castell Bryant. It is line with base salaries of the state's other university presidents. University of Florida president Bernie Machen is the highest paid at $416,161.

For Ammons, it will mean a $95,000 raise from his current salary. He would begin work June 15.

The contract includes a few features designed to keep Ammons, hired by a slim 7-6 board vote Feb. 1, in office to increase stability at the university. The school has gone through four presidents, including Bryant, in the last six years while struggling with a spate of financial and accounting problems.

"Stability is the biggest issue and challenge for us," board chairwoman Challis Lowe said.

The proposal is a three-year rolling contract that means it would annually renew itself during that span. Although Ammons could be fired without cause, it would take a vote by nine of the board's 13 members to fire him.

State universities can use taxpayer dollars to pay only $225,000 of their presidents' salaries. The rest must come from private sources.

[Last modified March 3, 2007, 01:37:26]

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