By: Lanetra Bennett
October 10, 2016
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Dr. Larry Robinson is no stranger to Florida A&M University.
The chemist and environmental scientist has served many roles at the university since 1997, from researcher to Provost to Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Now, he's on his third stint as interim president. "I'm focused on doing the job at hand." He told Eyewitness News in an exclusive sit-down interview.
Many say they'd like to see him in the job permanently. "If at some point, that opportunity presents itself, I will give it serious consideration at that time. Who would not rule out the possibility of being at the helm of one of the greatest institutions in this country."
Dr. Robinson says the separation agreement between the Board of Trustees and Dr. Elmira Mangum was finalized Tuesday. He says he understands that many students don't agree with her leaving.
Dr. Robinson said, "I can understand that you bond with a person in this seat at that time and that has a special meaning to these young men and women. I can't ever belittle that. I just want them to understand that I'm the same person who sat here 2012-13 and part of '14. I just don't want anybody to think that students will be any less significance to me and my team and our board as they were in the recent past."
Dr. Robinson says the administrative changes he's made since taking over are done in the best interest of FAMU.
His overall plan is to take the school to a higher level. He said, "Our faculty will continue to provide the rigorous classroom instruction that's needed. They will continue to garner research grants from agencies that amaze us. I plan to have energized all of that to try to keep the train not just on the track but elevated to a place we all can see us arriving at. That's what I mean by going platinum. There's a lot of gold there's a lot of great things that have always happened over our 129-year history. I think the next 129 can be even greater."
Additional web-exclusive content from our interview with Dr. Robinson will play following the video above.