Board of Governors confirms Dr. Larry Robinson as FAMU’s president

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By: Aubrey Brown | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 26, 2018

Larry Robinson / Photo: FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida Board of Governors unanimously voted Thursday to confirm Dr. Larry Robinson as the 12th permanent president of Florida A&M University.

“It is an honor and a privilege to lead this great institution,” said Dr. Robinson, while addressing the Board. “My commitment as the 12th president is to work wholeheartedly to make FAMU an institution that is an even stronger ‘First Choice’ for students, a priority destination for agencies that invest in research, a model of meaningful engagement, and a favored institution committed to transparency and accountability."

The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees unanimously voted in November 2017 to make Dr. Robinson the university's permanent president. The board requested a waiver to allow the university to skip the national presidential search that's usually required.

Dr. Robinson served as the university’s interim president beginning in September 2016, his third stint as interim president.

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 30, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Dr. Larry Robinson can finally remove "interim" from his title. He is now the 12th president of Florida A&M University.

There was a standing ovation in the grand ballroom at FAMU Thursday morning. After the applause, supporters personally congratulated Dr. Larry Robinson.

"Great day for all of us."


"Congratulations. Yes, sir, congratulations."

Dr. Robinson is not taking the job lightly.

He said, "Every day I come to work, I see that line of former presidents and interim presidents in Lee Hall. That's one hundred years of outstanding leaders. All of that hits you at one time that I'm the person now that is in the role of the president of Florida A&M University."

Dr. Robinson earned a stellar evaluation for his service as interim president. He received "exceeds" or "meets" expectations in the eleven categories ranked in his evaluation.

He received a "Does not meet expectations" in organizational management from Trustee Mills. Trustee Mills and Trustee Washington gave him "Does not meet expectations" in financial management.

Still, there was a resounding "yes" from each of the 12 trustees when they voted Dr. Robinson as the permanent leader.

Board Chairman Kelvin Lawson said, "We based all of our decisions on data, and we didn't rush to an outcome that would've been premature. I think we all collectively feel very good about where we are."

Alumni and students are looking forward to working with Dr. Robinson.

Tallahassee resident Masekela Mandela said, "With a man who's been interim three times, I think he knows the pulse of the university and he also knows what the university needs."

FAMU student Ania Wilson said, "I hope that he can institute principles and motions that will put the university in a better place."

Dr. Robinson says students remain a top priority. He says he's ready to get to work right away.

"I want to just start reaching out to our constituents and let them know how important they are to us. That includes students, faculty, staff, alumni. I'll be meeting with my leadership team talking about what we will do," he said.

The board waived a national presidential search, which drew criticism from some people.

However, trustees say Dr. Robinson has the experience and fits the profile of what FAMU needs in a president.

"It's kind of hard to put it in words, but it's an awesome feeling. It's also one when you recognize you have a tremendous responsibility to carry on these great traditions at Florida A&M," Dr. Robinson said.

The Florida Board of Governors still has to confirm Dr. Robinson's appointment.

Robinson has served as the university’s interim president since September 2016. He also serves as a distinguished professor and principal investigator in the School of the Environment. He previously served as interim president from July 2012 to April 2014, director of FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute from 1997 to 2003, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2003 to 2005, interim president in 2007, and vice president for Research in 2009.

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 30, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to make Dr. Larry Robinson the university's permanent president.

After Thursday's vote, Dr. Robinson received a standing ovation. He then went around the table and hugged each trustee.

Trustees tell us they chose Robinson because he fits the profile of what FAMU needs in a president.

This was Dr. Robinson's third time serving as interim.

The Board of Governors has to confirm the appointment in January.

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It was a unanimous vote Wednesday by the Presidential Leadership Committee.

Trustees saying yes to dropping the "interim" from Dr. Larry Robinson's title, and making him FAMU's permanent president.

A year ago, trustees recommended that Dr. Larry Robinson not be prohibited from going after the permanent president position, as he had been his two previous interim terms.

FAMU Trustee Belvin Perry made the motion and Trustee David Lawrence backed him up. "I second it with enthusiasm," Lawrence said.

Committee members made it clear why they want Dr. Larry Robinson to become FAMU's permanent president.

Trustee Belvin Perry said, "We've had a test drive with Dr. Robinson three times. Each time he's done an excellent job."

Dr. Robinson said, "It's not just what we've done in the past, it's what we have the potential to do in the future. I would be overwhelmed with joy to have an opportunity to lead FAMU into that future."

"It gives me joy in my soul that the president said he is overwhelmed with joy at the opportunity. That's what it's all about. That's real leadership. Thank you," responded Trustee Lawrence.

Before voting unanimously to recommend Dr. Robinson as president, committee members approved his evaluation.

Judging him on eleven categories that include priorities, leadership, management and personal characteristics, Dr. Robinson's rankings included seven "exceeds expectations," and four "meets expectations."

"I think we can do a better job in fundraising. I said that in my evaluation and I'm going to keep harping on that until we do," said Trustee Robert Woody.

Trustees say Dr. Robinson fits the profile of what FAMU needs in a president.

The committee's recommendation has to go before the full Board of Trustees. The board meets Thursday and is expected to make that final vote.

"There is nothing right now that I can think of that would be more important for me to do than to serve in that capacity. I am extremely humbled by the fact that after 20 years that I would have such a distinct honor," Dr. Robinson said.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida A&M University Presidential Leadership Committee has voted unanimously to recommend Dr. Larry Robinson as the university's permanent president to the Board of Trustees.

The Governance Committee approved Dr. Robinson's evaluation. His evaluation shows he 'Exceeds' or 'Meets' all expectations.

The full FAMU Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the decision on Thursday.

Dr. Robinson says he's humbled for the opportunity to serve as FAMU's president. This is his third time serving as interim president.

By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 9, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A vote on Thursday could pave the way for Larry Robinson to become the Florida A&M University president, permanently.

The Board of Governors approved Robinson's reappointment as interim president through September 2018.

It also granted a waiver requested by FAMU's Board of Trustees, meaning the university can skip the national presidential search that's usually required.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 13, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees has voted to extend the contract of Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.

The Board voted unanimously on Tuesday.

“The unanimous vote is not only another signal of our confidence in the current leadership of Dr. Robinson and his team, but it is also a continuation of our journey toward making a good and thoughtful decision on selecting the next permanent president of Florida A&M University,” said Board of Trustees Chair Kelvin Lawson. “Extending Dr. Robinson’s contract gives us time to weigh our options, post the next Board of Governors' meeting, to determine if we will conduct a national search or ask Dr. Robinson to continue his work as the permanent president. The Board is committed to making the best decision for our university.”

Dr. Robinson's new contract is effective September 15, 2017 through September 14, 2018.

Dr. Robinson said in a statement, "I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve this great institution as interim president and humbled by the vote of the Board of Trustees. I remain dedicated to working with our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters to ensure that the goals of the University are successfully accomplished."

Dr. Robinson has served as the interim president at FAMU since September 15 of last year. Dr. Robinson previously served in the capacity from July 2012 to April 2014 and in 2007.

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