On January 8, 2021, Dr. James H. Ammons, Jr. was appointed as Chancellor of Southern University
at New Orleans (SUNO). Dr. Ammons also serves 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
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
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
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.