Florida A&M University is moving on with its search for a new president, after learning this week that its accreditation remains intact. The university is less than a month away from possibly naming a permanent president, but its interim chief is still on the job for now.
Larry Robinson is the man many involved with Florida A&M University credit for now twice pulling the institution back from the brink. Robinson says the lifting of accreditation probation means the school can now focus on student retention and graduation rates:
“We can start thinking about doing more with distance learning programs, enhancing academic quality of our programs, especially those with licensure exams," he said.
Those areas are a part of the way the state of Florida now decides how to fund its universities. The federal government could soon follow with its own ranking system based on similar measures. But while the school may be off probation, the damage has been done. Robinson says many in Tallahassee have grown weary of seeing FAMU in the headlines -- most of them not positive. Robinson says it will take time for the university to rebuild its reputation:
“What we have to make sure is that everyone understands the commitment we have. And the necessity of keeping these matters fixed and not having to deal with anything of this nature ever again.”
Meanwhile, FAMU’s 37-person presidential candidate pool includes a North Florida attorney who ran afoul of the Florida Bar, a former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa and several with Ivy League backgrounds. Few have ties to FAMU, and that’s a change for the school, which hasn’t had a non-FAMU graduate in its top spot in more than 50 years. The University’s trustees could name a new president by January 9th.
From FAMU's public relations office:
FAMU Presidential Search Committee to Meet in January
Full Board of Trustees to interview finalists during January meeting
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – FAMU Board of Trustees Presidential Search Committee has scheduled its next presidential search meeting for Jan. 6-7, 2014 in Orlando, Fla. The committee plans to review qualified applications on Jan. 6 and interview presidential candidates on Jan. 7, with the goal of identifying finalist candidates for the Board’s consideration.
The January Board of Trustees meeting will be held in Tallahassee, Fla. on January 8-9, 2014. The Board will interview finalists on Jan. 8. Additionally, students, faculty, alumni and friends will get a chance to meet the finalists during forums on that date. It is anticipated that the selection of the President will be on the Board’s agenda for Thursday, Jan. 9.
Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. is assisting Florida A&M University Board of Trustees in the search for FAMU's 11th President. For more information visit, www.famu.edu/presidentialsearch.