Tallahassee, Florida- July 17, 2012
It was only a month ago FAMU President James Ammons promised an aggressive campaign to turn things around.
But then, he was slapped by a vote of 'no confidence' by the FAMU Board of Trustees - a rebuke that led to his resignation last week and even though he hoped to stay on until October 11th, today the board voted to let Ammons go immediately.
The message is clear the school year can't begin without a new outlook and a new president.
Provost Larry Robinson is taking over, at least temporarily. "There's going to be a lot of things that we do fairly aggressive that are going to be different from the way we've done them in the past," said Robinson.
Robinson said talking about hazing, a long-time problem that became a crisis after the beating death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion last fall.
His case has helped reveal a handful of *other* hazing incidents, not to mention suspicious finances, that have put the marching band on a year-long suspension.
Ammons was accused of failing to react *before* the crisis intensified, and that's led some to call for more oversight by the board.
But, state representative and FAMU alum Alan Williams has confidence in Robinson.
"I think we have some board of trustee members who have, maybe, a different agenda other than being trustees. I think there's a fine line you have to walk when you're a trustee member versus being an administrator," said Rep. Williams.
Robinson says he'll begin putting together a crisis management plan.
He'll take that back to the board next month, and that's when they'll vote on whether to keep him on as interim president, a role he would have to fill for up to a year.
FAMU's Board of Trustees are launching a nation-wide search for the school's next president.