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Durham Detour and a $288,000 party for Ammons

The local newspaper down in Tallahassee reports that James Ammons, the former boss here at N.C. Central University, had a heck of an inaugural bash down at Florida A & M University last week, to the tune of $288,000.

 The party, much like the $162,000 installation UNC Chapel Hill threw recently for new chancellor Holden Thorp, was paid for by private donations, not state money. Still, that's quite a party, isn't it?

 Ammons called his seven years in Durham a "detour" on his road to the presidency at his alma mater. One might remark that he left just in time, given the mess he'd be dealing with here if he had stayed in Durham. 

Ammons breaks silence - sort of

In reporting the story that ran Sunday about NCCU's unauthorized satellite campus at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta, I tried several times to contact James Ammons, NCCU's former chancellor who is now president at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee.

Ammons never called or returned my emails requesting comment. He did comment, briefly, to a higher education trade publication called Inside Higher Ed. He didn't say much, but here's a link to the story that publication wrote on the New Birth issue.

And here are Ammons' comments.

"James H. Ammons, who was chancellor when the program was set up, recently left to become president of Florida A&M University. Via e-mail, Ammons said that while he knows that anything that happened administratively while he was chancellor was 'my responsibility,' he 'cannot recall all of the details regarding that particular program because I don’t get involved in the day-to-day operations of academic programs,' leaving such matters to the provost and faculty."

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