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FAMU’s Interim President Imposes Moratorium

FAMU’s Interim President Imposes Moratorium
On Spending After Grim Finance Report

Florida A&M University has responded to grim reports on its finances by imposing a dramatic moratorium on spending, recalling cell phones and cutting off travel.

Interim president Dr. Castell Bryant met with deans last month to deliver the news and distributed an e-mail to all campus accounts in response to a report showing a projected gap of at least $23 million between the budget and spending at Florida’s only historically Black public university.

FAMU has been under state scrutiny for financial mismanagement since audits uncovered untimely bank reconciliations, poor accounting practices, deficient check-writing controls and late vendor payments.

Bryant, who replaced fired president Dr. Fred Gainous in January, offered few exceptions to the moratorium. Insurance and postal services will continue as usual. Clinical, lab and medical supplies, as well as copy paper and printer cartridges, will continue to be supplied. Athletic trips will require presidential approval and previously approved contracts can be paid after review.

“This is a dire measure,” says university trustee Barney Bishop. “But the financial circumstances we are in call for this type of action.”

Bill Tucker, president of the faculty union, said he expected Bryant to do “some cutting” but he was surprised by “this kind of shutdown.”

— Associated Press

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