City of Winter Haven –
On January 8, 2021, Dr. James H. Ammons, Jr. was appointed as Chancellor of Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO). Dr. Ammons also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of the Southern University System. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Southern University and A&M College, the System’s flagship campus.
A native Floridian, Dr. Ammons grew up in Winter Haven. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. degree in political science from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1974. He was awarded the M.S. in public administration in 1975, and the Ph.D. in government in 1977 from Florida State University. In 2008, he completed the Corporate Governance: Effectiveness and Accountability in the Boardroom Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
He began his teaching career as an assistant professor in public policy and administration at the University of Central Florida. He returned to FAMU in 1983 as an associate professor of political science and quickly moved up the ranks becoming Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1995.
From 2001-2007, Ammons served as the ninth Chancellor of North Carolina Central University. Enrollment reached an all-time high during his tenure, climbing from 5,476 in 2001 to 8,675 in 2007.
In 2007, Dr. Ammons was elected the tenth president of FAMU. During his tenure, FAMU was heralded by U.S. News and World Report as the nation’s top public historically Black university and one of America’s most popular universities. After retiring from the Presidency in 2012, he served as professor of political science until 2018.
Dr. Ammons has served on 14 accreditation committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He chaired accreditation committees for North Carolina Central University, Norfolk State University, South Carolina State University and Clemson University.
Dr. Ammons has received many honors and awards including, an honorary doctorate from Wilberforce University in 2015. He is married to Judy Ammons (Ruffin) and they have one son, James, III, and a granddaughter, Adalina Ammons.