Supporters to BOT: Make Robinson permanent president of FAMU

By: Lanetra Bennett
June 8, 2017

Larry Robinson / Photo: FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Dr. Larry Robinson has served FAMU in many capacities since 1997, including being interim president..

Many say "interim" should be taken off the front of his title. They want him to be the 12th permanent president of the university.

"I think we got the right person here." Said, Lt. Col. Greg Clark, the president of the National Alumni Association.

Clark says the university should skip the presidential search. "Dr. Robinson has been around for a long, long time. He understands the culture at Florida A&M University. He's great with the students, the alumni, and the faculty and I think we shouldn't waste any time." He said.

During the FAMU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, several people spoke out on the matter.

Patty Alexander, an alum, said, "Our top candidate is Dr. Larry Robinson."

Dale Landry with the Florida NAACP said, "He's demonstrated a loyalty to the university over and above. We strongly believe at this time the only right thing to do is to reward him for that demonstration and that commitment."

FAMU alum, Dr. Carolyn Collins, said, "He has FAMU's best interest at heart and has shown that for over the past 15 to 20 years--from bringing us out of hazing, bringing us out of SACS accreditation, bringing the faculty and staff together. Why would we want someone who's not experienced and who is not already at the cutting edge to come at this great institution?"

Rev. R.B. Holmes says Dr. Robinson should apply for the job. He said, "We need to cast a wide net. Make sure we do this in the spirit of transparency and forthrightness."

Dr. Larry Robinson has been filling in as president of FAMU since last September. This is his third time as interim.

Dr. Robinson said, "It's extremely flattering to hear those very, very kind remarks."

When asked to clarify if he wants the permanent job, he said, "This is one of the greatest institutions in America in my opinion. Who wouldn't want to be at the helm here?"

Last month, the FAMU National Alumni Association, the FAMU Foundation, and the FAMU Boosters all rendered a vote of confidence in Dr. Larry Robinson being the permanent president of the university.

The official search for a new president has not been opened yet. The chairman of the board, Kelvin Lawson, says he's heard everyone loud and clear. But, adds it is important for the board to follow the process.

Lawson says more information and feedback needs to be gathered. An update from consultants and a presidential leadership committee is expected at the board's retreat in August.

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