Elmira Mangum, PhD
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Elmira Magnum, PhD, has served at the executive level of nationally recognized organizations of higher learning for more than 30 years. Currently completing a sabbatical with Washington University in St. Louis as a distinguished scholar-in-residence, she is working on a manuscript and case studies to inform the preparation of future leaders in higher education. She previously served as a visiting scholar at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
Making history as the first permanent female president in the University’s 130-year legacy, Dr. Magnum was the 11th president of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Under her leadership, the University achieved many milestones, including creating a student-success center and graduating the most students ever in a single year as a result of the focus on retention and on-time graduation. Over the course of Dr. Mangum’s tenure, FAMU was recognized as a leading higher education institution by Essence, Money, The Wall Street Journal, and Times Higher Education.
From 2010 until her appointment at FAMU, Dr. Mangum served as Vice President for Planning and Budget at Cornell University. While at Cornell, she was the senior administrator charged with managing the university’s resources and annual budgeting process. As a change agent, Dr. Mangum was credited with leading a dynamic overhaul that helped the University overcome a structural deficit that stemmed from the economic downturn.
Prior to her successful tenure at Cornell, Dr. Mangum served in various administrative capacities for nine years at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, including as Senior Associate Provost. Her extraordinary career in higher education leadership began at the University of Wisconsin Extension Geological and Natural History Survey as an operations specialist. She also held leading positions at the University at Buffalo, where she served as an Assistant Dean, Associate Provost for Resource Management, and Vice Provost.
Dr. Mangum earned her bachelor’s degree in Geography from North Carolina Central University. She graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration and earned a second master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. She received a DPhil in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University at Buffalo, where she earned distinction for her work on leadership in higher education.
She completed postgraduate training at the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina, the Millennium Leadership Institute, the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program, the National Leadership Forum for Women Administrators, and Cornell’s Administrative Management Institute.
Dr. Mangum’s commitment to public service is exemplified by her service on and with numerous boards and organizations, including, but not limited to, the American Association of University Women, the American Council on Education, the Higher Education Resource Services Board of Directors, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., the Bacharach Leadership Group, Inc., and the United Way Board of Directors in several cities. She is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was appointed by former US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to serve on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade.
Dr. Mangum’s dedication to education is evidenced by her membership and participation on the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), the Higher Education Resource Services Board (HERS), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the Middle Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), and the Tri-State Diversity Council.
Dr. Mangum appeared on Ebony magazine’s “Power 100” list, and the Capital Outlook named her the “Person of the Year.” She received the Trailblazer Award presented by the Oasis Center for Women and Girls and was named the “Female HBCU President of the Year” at the 2015 HBCU Awards. Dr. Mangum received the Women of Distinction Global Leadership Award in Education from the organization Celebrating Women International and was named an “Outstanding Female Leader” by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.