*(Via AJC.com) – Florida A&M University is planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and revamp school policies in the wake of the brutal hazing death of a school drum major.
University trustees and top university officials said Wednesday that they are taking steps to deal with they called a “crisis” and a “significant disease” that is harming the university’s reputation and may harm it financially.
The changes are coming at a critical time: FAMU President James Ammons is coming under fire from some outside the university for his performance, enrollment for the coming year is down, and the university wants to launch a major fundraising campaign in the coming year.
The university athletic program — which has been grappling with a deficit — must also figure out how to fill the football stands this fall even though the famed Marching 100 band has been suspended for the coming year.
Ammons told trustees during an all-day retreat that responding to the death of Robert Champion and the deeply ingrained hazing culture at the school has proven to be the most “challenging issue” of his career.
“I am deeply concerned about the culture at Florida A&M University,” Ammons said. “I am deeply concerned about the image of our university…I know we have ahead of us a big task of restoring the trust and confidence in this university to provide a safe environment for our students.”
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