Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced the Department of Athletics will institute a hiring freeze, effective immediately, as part of a plan to ensure the department has a balanced budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. Athletics’ goal is to save $600,000 to $1 million and increase funding by the same amount from allowable sources.
“Moving forward, we are aggressively seeking to increase support from fans, friends and corporate partners and explore other avenues that will help produce a financially stable department,” said Athletics Director John Eason, Ph.D.
Due to the hiring freeze, Athletics will not fill about a dozen positions. However, essential positions, such as the compliance director, mandated by the NCAA, will be filled.
Eason has been working with the University’s Athletics Assessment Team, to identify cost savings and will determine how to address the hiring freeze when the assessment team meets next week.
The Team consists of Richard Schweigert, interim CFO and vice president of Finance and Administration, Joyce Ingram, chief operations officer for Finance and Administration, Joe Maleszewski, auditor, Rica Calhoun, chief ethics officer, Genyne Boston, Ph.D., deputy athletics director, Erica Wilcox, director of athletics budget, Nichole Murry, University budget director, and Kentrell Kearney, interim associate athletics director for compliance.
“We want to give the best experience to our fans, students and student-athletes, and we are encouraged that we are taking steps that will benefit this department and University in the future,” said Eason.
He went on to thank the Florida Board of Governors, FAMU Board of Trustees, President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., the University community and fans for their continued support of FAMU Athletics.
“With the help of our Investing in Champions members and the recent Willenium Tour, we have already begun to find ways to help fund athletics,” Eason said. “We know that the future of FAMU Athletics is bright and working together with our Direct Support Organizations, alumni, and other supporters, we will continue enhancing this program.”
FAMU’s National Alumni Association helped organize the Willenium Tour, named for FAMU Head Football Coach Willie Simmons, during the summer to raise $63,000. Prominent alumni hosted intimate fundraisers in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston and Dallas.