FAMU President Resigns in Wake of Hazing Death

The president of Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced his resignation Wednesday, more than seven months after the drum major for the university band died following a hazing incident, CNN reported Wednesday afternoon.

According to a statement, Dr. James H. Ammons said he is leaving the FAMU post he has held for five years, effective this fall.

“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,” he wrote in a letter to the chairman of the school’s board of trustees.

Ammons said he will remain at FAMU as a tenured professor on the faculty.

The resignation comes after the November 19, 2011 death of Robert Champion. News report indicate that Champion died within an hour of being badly beaten during a hazing incident on a band bus following a FAMU football game in Orlando, Fla.

A police investigation charged 14 people, with 11 facing one count of third-degree felony hazing resulting in death. Each of the 14 is accused of two counts of first-degree misdemeanor hazing and three people are facing a single count of misdemeanor first-degree hazing.

FAMU officials have said the school has taken measures to eliminate the hazing problem in the wake of Champion’s death, and the university board of trustees has approved an anti-hazing plan.