CMSI and Penn GSE Welcome Former Florida A&M President, Elmira Mangum, for a Visiting Scholar Appointment

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Media Contact: 

Jeff Frantz, Penn GSE Associate Director of Communications
(215)-898-3269 |

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The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) announced that Elmira Mangum, former president of Florida A&M University (FAMU), will be spending a half-year sabbatical at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mangum, an expert in education policy and leadership, will be using her sabbatical to research the leadership pathways to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions, especially for women.
“We are thrilled to have Elmira Mangum join us,” said Marybeth Gasman, Penn GSE Professor and Director of CMSI. “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. I’m personally excited to support talented women of color and learn from them.”
Mangum is currently on sabbatical at FAMU. From April to September, she will be a visiting scholar at CMSI and in Penn GSE’s Higher Education Division. She will then be a Scholar in Residence at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law before returning to the FAMU College of Education as a faculty member in 2018.
“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,” said Mangum. “These discussions should lead to research that tackles the underlying issues and creates solutions that address the leadership challenges ahead in higher education. Of particular interest to me is how we advance the agenda for financial support and educational leadership for HBCUs and women of color around the country.”
In addition to her research agenda with CMSI, Mangum is expected to actively contribute to Penn GSE, serving as an invaluable contact for students who want to learn from someone with real leadership experience at the highest levels in university administration at some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Prior to joining FAMU, Mangum previously served as an associate provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as the vice president for budget and planning at Cornell University.
“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," said Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman. "She will provide Penn GSE students with a unique perspective on the challenges of leading a university and what it takes to create meaningful educational opportunities. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Mangum to Penn.”
In September, Mangum stepped down from her position at FAMU amid a controversial reorganization of its leadership in which more than half of the university’s Board of Trustees had been newly appointed in 2016 and subsequently voted against extending Mangum’s contract. With Morehouse College’s President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. slated to step down this coming June after the college similarly voted not to renew his contract, there will be 17 vacancies at the 105 HBCUs across the country.
About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. For further information about CMSI, please visit
About the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the University of Pennsylvania 
Penn GSE is one of the nation’s premier research education schools. No other education school enjoys a university environment as supportive of practical knowledge building as the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania. The School is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals, unique partnerships with local educators, and the first-ever business plan competition devoted exclusively to educational products and programs. For further information about Penn GSE, please visit


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