Florida A&M University’s interim president moved a step closer to dropping "interim” from his title Wednesday. A committee of the school’s trustee board recommending naming Larry Robinson to head the university permanently.
The move comes after the state university system governing board earlier this month decided to let FAMU to bypass a national presidential search. Supporters cited the difficulty of finding a president at a time when there are numerous openings at other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, along with Robinson’s track record—he’s headed FAMU three separate times on a temporary basis, and has support from alumni.
“We want stability at Florida A&M…but even more, we want a leader who interfaces effectively with corporate America and various constituents, and one who has a vision that will ensure Florida A&M University remains on our current competitive trajectory," the FAMU Foundation’s Hosetta Coleman told the board.
And FAMU National Alumni Association President Gregory Clark has also endorsed Robinson, telling the Board of Governors that, “Dr. Robinson sees the big picture and understands FAMU and the FAMU way. He also understands what the board of governors is requiring of FAMU. He is able to work with our board of trustees, students and alumni to meet those requirements.”
Robinson has served stepped into the role of interim president three different times in the past 10 years. Most recently he took over after FAMU parted ways last year with former president Elmira Mangum, who ran into conflict with both university stakeholders as well as the state university system governing board.
He stepped in during 2012 following the resignation of former President James Ammons in the wake of the hazing death of a drum major, and back in 2007 following a series of bad state audits.
FAMU trustee Belvin Perry made the motion to make Robinson’s post permanent Wednesday. The full board will consider the proposal Thursday, and if approved, Robinson could become FAMU’s 12th president.