By: Lanetra Bennett
March 6, 2014, 5:35 p.m.
Tallahassee, FL - The athletic director at FAMU reports the department's financial deficit has been cut by almost half. That and other updates were provided during Dr. Larry Robinson's last board of trustees meeting as interim president.
The FAMU Board of Trustees says the university is in sound financial health.
While the interim athletic director, Michael Smith, says his department is $1.1 million in the hole, he says that's down from last year's $2 million deficit.
Smith says, "We'll continue to look for cost-cutting measures and being more efficient in how we utilize our resources, combining team travel when necessary, and thing like that."
The Board also voted Thursday to approve a new Veterans Affairs Department at FAMU.
Administrators say establishing a new office and center will expand the assistance already provided on campus and provide the support services veterans need as they transitIon into the workplace.
William Hudson, Ph.D., FAMU's Vice President for Student Affairs, says, "Florida is second to California with the number of veterans. We want to make sure that we provide that opportunity to those veterans, not only in Florida, but, across the nation to pursue higher education and become productive members of society."
Dr. Hudson says they're looking to have the director position filled by July. He says a budget for the new Veterans Affairs Office still has to be worked out with the board of trustees.
The board approved Sony's plan to build studios on campus for the new 24-hour Black Television News Channel. The journalism dean says Sony will also provide the equipment.
Trustees credit interim president Dr. Larry Robinson with the university's recent achievements and improvements.
Trustee Narayan Persaud, Ph.D. says, "He has restored the credibility of FAMU. I personally believe that Dr. Robinson's short stint as the head of this university will stand as a lasting model in the coming of age at FAMU."
Trustee Marjorie Turnbull says, "You turned the corner on what was a very difficult and dark day for FAMU. Thank you for what you have done. Thank you for your leadership and thank you for where FAMU is today."
Dr. Robinson says, "I'm just extremely humbled by these very generous and kind remarks. I just want to reiterate that I did not do this alone. Everything that got done, we got done together as a team."
Trustee Rufus Montgomery presented Dr. Robinson with a FAMU football helmet. Referring to Dr. Robinson's leadership skills and accomplishments, Montgomery says Robinson has acted as a captain, quarterback, and even sometimes a running back getting beat up. He says, "We asked him to run the ball and keep the clock moving and he's done that very admirably.
Trustees voted to pay Dr. Robinson a $75,000 performance bonus and sabbatical benefits for six months equal to his annual base salary.
Dr. Elmira Mangum begins as FAMU's new president April 1st.
By Lanetra Bennett
March 6, 2014, 11 a.m.
Tallahassee, Fla. -- The FAMU Board of Trustees approved a 24-hour news channel slated to be headquartered at FAMU.
Administrators say the next step is to sign the papers with Sony for the Black Television News Channel. Sony is paying for the construction of the studio estimated at $2.5 million, as well as paying for all equipment.
The board also approved the establishment of a new Veterans Affairs Office.
News Release: FAMU
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees will hold its scheduled committee and full board meetings March 5 - 6.
The full board meeting will also be held in the Grand Ballroom on Thursday, March 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Board will hear updates regarding budget and finance, audit and compliance, academic affairs, trustee-student affairs, facilities and direct support organizations. The public may view the meeting live by logging on to FAMCast at www.famu.edu/famcast.
For more information, call (850) 599-3413 or visit: http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?BOT&AgendasandMinutes.