FAMU Board Chairman Explains Halt of Presidential Search

By: Eyewitness News; Associated Press; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Eyewitness News; Associated Press; Lanetra Bennett Email

Lanetra Bennett
April 11, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - After almost a week of interviewing the final two candidates for FAMU's band director position, the school is still not prepared to announce who will be hired.

The board of Trustees did announce when the presidential search would resume.

FAMU's Board of Trustees Chairman Solomon Badger says the search for a new university president will resume January 1st.

Badger stands by last month's decision to put the search on hold while administrators concentrate on accreditation concerns. FAMU was put on one year accreditation probation in December.

Badger says, "We have a number of challenges out there that we have a competent group of people dedicating a lot of time to and energy to move forward. As soon as we can get the SACS probation thing done, we will be back into the business of trying to put a president in place."

Critics have questioned why the university is moving full speed ahead with finding a new band director before putting a president in place.

This week, final band director candidates Dr. Sylvester Young and Don Roberts interviewed on campus.

FAMU Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson says, "Everything at the university can't be put on hold while we look for a president. Can you imagine what might happen if we did that? We didn't postpone the football season. It's important to have a president, but, the university has to keep functioning as well."

During the FAMU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Badger asked Dr Larry Robinson to remain as the interim president.

Dr. Robinson says, "I really appreciate this vote of confidence. I will do what is needed to serve the legacy of Florida A&M University."

By: Lantera Bennett
April 11, 2013

Dr. Larry Robinson says FAMU has made sweeping changes in response to accreditation concerns. He says they are continuing to monitor all efforts and are preparing for the visit from SACS in September.

Dr. Robinson says the goal is to make a safer environment for students, faculty, and staff.

By: Lanetra Bennett
April 11, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - The Grand Ballroom is packed as the Board of Trustees meet at FAMU this morning.

Solomon Badger, the FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman, has announced that the presidential search will resume January 1st. January was chosen as the month to start the presidential search again because SACS, the accreditation board, is visiting in September and the report is expected in December.

Badger asked Robinson to continue as the interim president. He says Robinson will continue to have authority as the interim president, including making any necessary changes.

Robinson thanked the board for a vote of confidence and says he is excited about continuing in the role as interim president.

The FAMU Board voted to have a retreat to discuss what is expected of Robinson and allow him to ask any questions. No date has been set yet for the retreat.

Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The chairman of the Florida A&M University board is being asked to explain his decision to suspend a search for a new president.

The faculty representative on FAMU's board plans Thursday to question why Solomon Badger unilaterally halted a search for a new president at the troubled school.

Badger suspended the search a week before a search committee was expected to select finalists.

Badger said he suspended the search because the university is in the middle of a critical review by the school's accreditation agency. If FAMU loses accreditation students could no longer receive financial aid.

James Ammons abruptly resigned as president last year amid the fallout from the hazing death of a drum major in November 2011. Larry Robinson has been interim president since that time.

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