12968281-mmmainAll that was missing from Thursday’s upbeat committee meetings of the Alabama A&M University Board of Trustees was a win in the Magic City Classic.

Fighting to overcome chronic financial problems, the trustees:

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  • Celebrated turning a $9 million deficit from 2008 into a $3 million surplus.
  • Voted, on the committee level, to approve a 2014 fiscal year budget that includes the first pay raise for employees in six years and doesn’t include a bump in tuition.
  • Received an audit report with no issues for 2012 with an “unqualified” opinion, which is the “best possible opinion an independent auditor can issue,” according to a presentation from auditors Banks, Finley, White & Co.

And this all came on the heels of a Wednesday night presentation of a four-year evaluation of President Andrew Hugine, which was described as “very, very positive” by Alvin Schexnider, a consultant from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges who worked with the evaluation committee.

“If you’ve got the naysayers talking about the fiscal health of the institution, the fiscal health – we have a long way to go – the fiscal health has been improved because it’s being reflected in our financial statements,” said Odysseus Lanier, president pro tem of the trustees.