FAMU board leader bows out

Published April 19, 2007

Knowing that lawmakers planned to edge her out, Challis Lowe, the embattled chairwoman of Florida A&M University's board of trustees, has withdrawn her application for reappointment.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the head of the board that oversees Florida's universities, Lowe conceded that her reappointment was unlikely, given "extensive activity and lobbying by people opposed to my continued service to Florida A&M."

Lowe, 61, has been chairwoman since February 2005. She has overseen the board as FAMU faltered under unstable leadership, dropping enrollment, poor retention and financial management problems.

To keep the post, Lowe needed approval from the full Senate by the time session ends May 4. But Lowe's confirmation hearing never was scheduled in the two Senate committees that must review such nominations before they go to the chamber.

Now, the Board of Governors will come up with another nominee to fill Lowe's spot.