New FAMU President's First Day

Courtesy of FAMU

By: Lanetra Bennett
April 1, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - The new president at Florida A&M University is wasting no time getting settled in. Tuesday is Dr. Elmira Mangum's first day on the job.

Eyewitness News sat down with her to find out what goals FAMU's first female president has for the university.

"Great things are ahead, I'm sure." Says, Dr. Mangum.

Dr. Mangum makes history as the first woman in FAMU' s 126-year legacy to be installed as a permanent president.

Dr. Mangum says her first day as FAMU's 11th president was exciting and challenging. She says, "People are ready to work. They are working already on behalf of the institution as they always have. So, I'm encouraged by the warm welcome and the professionalism that exists on campus."

University administrators say FAMU's six-year graduation rate increased from 39 percent to 41 percent.

Dr. Mangum says she will keep graduation and retention rates as priorities, by focusing on individual students. She says, "Matching our students' needs for academic progress with their desires and their preparation. That means working with he faculty, the advisers, and the university community and the families in making sure we have realistic expectations. Also, offer the programs that they come to FAMU to study."

Changes across campus may be inevitable, but, not immediate. "What I'd like to do is listen and then assess and make decisions with informed and with information, and develop a strategic plan across the institution around all of its major need and all of its major programs and activities." Dr. Mangum, says.

The head Rattler says she is looking to firm up academic leadership. She says FAMU is a safe place, and she'll continue programs to ensure safety is primary a concern.

Dr. Mangum previously served as vice president for planning and budget at Cornell University. Her starting salary at FAMU is $425,000.

She says the journey of the hiring process is part of what's prepared her to lead FAMU, even through the seemingly tough negotiations. Dr. Mangum says, "It's a testament, in fact, to the diligence that the university is willing to put in place to support students as well as the faculty in the state of Florida. So, while it might have seemed long, it was actually very fast as far as higher education is concerned; and the decision to come was an easy one."

Monday was Dr. Larry Robinson's last day as FAMU's interim president. He served as interim for about 20 months. He says he will now go on six-month sabbatical.

There will be a welcome rally for Dr. Mangum, Friday, April 4th, at 12:15 p.m. on the steps of Lee Hall at FAMU.

Updated By: Lanetra Bennett
March 31, 2014, 3:34pm

Today is Dr. Larry Robinson's last day as FAMU's Interim President.

WCTV spoke with him earlier today, and he has confirmed that he will go on a six-month sabbatical.

Dr. Elmira Mangum begins as FAMU's 11th President tomorrow, April 1, 2014. WCTV plans to talk with her about her plans for her upcoming tenure.

By: Bailey Myers
March 18th, 2014

Tallahassee FL- During a controversial time in Florida A and M's history, one man was in charge of turning the University's image around.

Dr. Larry Robinson served as interim president at the school for 18 months. Tonight the University honored Robinson's achievements during the tumultuous turnaround.

"Dr. Robinson is such a champion I mean he just stepped into a time when things were difficult and really turned things around," said one FAMU Senior, Candace Allen.

A FAMU Alumni who attended tonight's event Patricia Green-Powell also explained, "He exudes all of the skills and character of a strong leader. So, tonight was all about paying tribute to such a strong leader."

A night full of appreciation for one man who became the Interim President after Former FAMU President James Ammons resigned in the midst of a hazing-related death controversy. Tonight was about the obstacles Dr. Robinson, and FAMU had to overcome.

"I think by turning the light onto FAMU, Robinson really showed that we have a lot more to offer that we aren't just our struggle. We are champions in and of ourselves. He really is just a wonderful person" Allen told us.

Tonight Dr. Robinson was honored for his passion and commitment to Florida A and M University. As he told us tonight wasn't just about his role at the University, but it's about the future of these children. "People have gathered to contribute to the Larry Robinson Scholarship effort so that it will help students at FAMU now and Students in the Future," Dr. Larry Robinson explained.

Every ticket purchased contributed to the funds which will go towards a scholarship created by the man FAMU says they owe so much to.

Dr. Robinson also told us they are now in the fundraising stage for this scholarship and hope to develop a criteria for the winners sometime soon.

News Release: FAMU
Updated March, 7, 2014, 4:45pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Resilient, humble, selfless and dedicated. These were the praises sung by members of the FAMU Board of Trustees as they honored Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., at his final Board meeting before turning over the reigns of the university to incoming President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D.

Mangum begins her tenure as FAMU’s CEO on April 1.

During the March 6 meeting, the Board presented Robinson with an honorary FAMU Rattlers football helmet, signed by each member, to signify his vast contributions as the “captain” of the FAMU team for the last 19 months.

“Thank you for what you have done, thank you for your leadership and thank you for where FAMU is today,” said Trustee Marjorie Turnbull.

Board members also took time during the meeting to pledge thousands of dollars in donations toward the “Dr. Larry Robinson Endowed Scholarship,” in honor of his leadership in successfully navigating the university through one of the most challenging times in its history.

“You’ve navigated a multitude of challenges, you were always calm under pressure and always exhibited [good] character. You have truly confirmed your place in FAMU’s history as a great leader,” said Trustee Kimberly Moore.

“No amount of money can be enough to express our gratitude,” Trustee Belinda Shannon added.

Shannon applauded Robinson, not only for his work as interim president, but also for the leadership he has shown as an educator and administrator at the university over the years. She pointed to Robinson’s direct impact on her own daughter’s college education, when he directly assisted her and other students in 2008 with housing concerns while staying in the campus dormitories.

“I was able to witness first hand Dr. Robinson’s resilience and his positive style of leadership with results. I was impressed and grateful that he was giving so much of himself for the university,” she said.

Student Government Association President and Trustee Anthony Siders said that Robinson was a great role model and mentor during his term.

“Your leadership, your dignity and your integrity taught me many things,” Siders said. “You’ve provided an immense amount of stability to this university. Thank you on behalf of the student body.”

Siders was also recognized by the Board for his contributions, as this was his last meeting in the role of student body president.

Robinson expressed his gratitude to the entire board for their continued dedication and for “having the best interest of the university at heart.”

“This has been an honor and a privilege,” said Robinson. “Thank you for this opportunity to serve. It has been the highlight of my career and always will be.”

Board members will join FAMU administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, students and supporters in celebrating Robinson during an appreciation reception to be held at the Hotel Duval Horizon Ballroom on March 18 from 6-8 p.m. Hotel Duval is located at 415 N. Monroe Street.

Tickets for the appreciation reception are $100 and can be purchased online at All proceeds will go toward the “Dr. Larry Robinson Endowed Scholarship.”

For more information, call (850) 599-3413.

News Release: FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) will host the Dr. Larry Robinson Endowed Scholarship Appreciation Reception on Tuesday, March 18, at the Hotel Duval Horizon Ballroom, located at 415 N. Monroe Street, from 6-8 p.m. Tickets for the appreciation reception are $100 and can be purchased online at or

“Dr. Robinson has been an exemplary leader and supporter of FAMU and his service to the university deserves to be recognized,” said Interim Provost Rodner Wright, event chair. “It is an honor to create an endowed scholarship in his name and continue his legacy of ‘Excellence With Caring’ for generations to come.”

During a recent trip to Tampa, FAMU National Alumni Association chapters and leadership kicked-off the fundraising efforts for the endowed scholarship with pledges and checks totaling $30,000.

“From research scientist to assistant secretary for Commerce to provost to interim president, the entire FAMU community recognizes that Dr. Larry Robinson has been a passionate advocate for FAMU and enhancing our students’ educational experience and the profile of the institution,” said Vice President for University Advancement Thomas Haynes. “We hope this small token of our appreciation will express our gratitude for his service.”

Robinson has served as the interim president since July 2012. He previously served as director/professor in FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute (recently renamed the School of the Environment) from 1997-2003; provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2003-2005; served briefly as chief operating officer in 2007 and also served as vice president for Research from 2009-2010. In May 2010, Robinson took a leave of absence from the university to serve as assistant secretary for Commerce for Conservation and Management at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He supported and managed NOAA's coastal and marine programs, including marine sanctuaries for preserving areas of special national significance, fisheries management to sustain economic prosperity, and nautical charts for safe navigation. He also supported NOAA's participation as a lead agency addressing the BP oil spill crisis and President Obama's Ocean Policy Task Force.

Robinson returned to the university as special assistant and professor on November 21, 2011, and coordinated the administrative and eminent scholar searches, the integration of Graduate Studies and Title III programs with the Division of Sponsored Research, and the reorganization of the administrative structure and matters related to the investigation of hazing at FAMU.

The appreciation reception will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and music provided by the FAMU Jazz Faculty Ensemble. For more information, call (850) 599-3413. 

Courtesy of FAMU

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