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Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife

After being forced to step down, Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum is headed to the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions supported by the Graduate School of Education.

Mangum's leave was determined last fall by a 10 to 1 approval for a separation agreement by the FAMU Board of Trustees. From this decision, Mangum was granted paid administrative leave until her contract ends on March 31. The Florida Times-Union reported that Mangum had a "tense" relationship with the university's trustees and "received poor-to-middling marks on her second annual review." 

Mangum secured the opportunity to conduct research here at Penn after receiving well wishes and recognition by students and colleagues at FAMU, and being granted a one-year sabbatical at full salary.

She will research paths to leadership, particularly for women, at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as other institutions that serve minority students, according to a GSE press release. 

“Her expertise, history of strong leadership, and understanding of the strengths and challenges of HBCUs will bolster our work and be invaluable to our team at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions," Marybeth Gasman, director of The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions said in the press release. "I’m personally excited to support talented women of color and learn from them.”

“I made a conscious choice to spend some of my sabbatical at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the Penn Graduate School of Education. Being there will facilitate discussions and help to provide a better understanding of the issues facing HBCUs,” Mangum added in the press release. “These discussions should lead to research that tackles the underlying issues and creates solutions that address the leadership challenges ahead in higher education."

“We’re delighted that our students will have the opportunity to study with someone who has Dr. Mangum's leadership experience across a broad array of institutions," Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman continued in the press release.

According to the press release, there will be 17 vacancies at the 105 HBCUs throughout the country by June, with Morehouse College's President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. set to step down after the college voted not to renew his contract. 

The director of Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions was not immediately available for comment.