FAMU presidential search raises questions

Remaining 4 finalists interviewed by committee Monday

Author: Mike Vasilinda, Reporter, Capitol News Service
Published On: Jan 06 2014 04:29:18 PM EST
FAMU Florida A&M University sign
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

The search for a new president at Florida A&M University was dormant for more than a year, but since December, Trustees have put their foot on the gas with plans for a decision later this week.

Larry Robinson has been the interim President of FAMU for 18 months. For 17 of those months, the University has been searching for a new leader, sort of.

The search committee went just over a year from Dec. 5, 2012 until Dec. 2013 without even meeting.

There has been such a lull that many on campus didn't even know there was a search underway.

"I didn't even know we were in search for one," said student Alexis Ritchie.

"I heard about it because my granddad, he goes -- well he used to go here," said student Tera Cox.

The search is now on the fast track. Trustees planned to make a decision on Thursday, just 13 days after resuming the search.

More than 40 people applied for the president's seat; the list was narrowed down to six finalists but two of them have since dropped out.

Several Trustees who are critical of the timetable have expressed concerns over the speed of the renewed effort and the quality of applicants. A majority of the finalists applied at the last minute.

Interim President Robinson did not apply for the permanent job but he has support from Alumni and students.

"No, I'm not, I like our president," said Tampa student Jasmine Harrington. "I know him personally, yes, and I think he's a very good friend and he's doing good at he was nominated for."

With no deadline for applications, it's possible the next President of FAMU hasn't even applied for the job yet, but the clock is ticking.

The remaining four finalists were interviewed by the search committee today in Orlando.