FAMU trustees approve contract for interim president

Larry Robinson to serve as school's interim president


The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously approved a one-year contract for Larry Robinson, who will serve as the school's interim president.

The trustees voted Sept. 15 to end the presidency of Elmira Mangum while elevating Robinson to interim president.

Robinson, a professor who led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems at FAMU, will be paid $385,000 a year under the contract, which also provides a $3,500 monthly housing allowance and $1,200 a month for a vehicle allowance.

As part of the agreement, Robinson will develop a set of goals for his presidency that will be presented to the trustees at their November meeting.

Robinson previously served as FAMU's interim president from 2012 to 2014 and as the school's chief operating officer in 2007.

Robinson's appointment is subject to a confirmation vote by the state university system's Board of Governors.

Meanwhile, FAMU trustees learned that Mangum has yet to sign an agreement that sets the conditions for the end of her presidency.

Adrienne Conrad, outside counsel for the board, described minor modifications that have been made to the agreement at the request of Mangum and her attorney.

Conrad said she was "hopeful" but not "confident" that Mangum would sign the revised agreement shortly.

The trustees, with some expressing irritation at the delay, agreed to set a deadline for next Thursday for Mangum's approval of the deal.

If Mangum does not sign the agreement by then, the board has authorized a special presidential leadership committee to develop a new recommendation on handling the end of Mangum's presidency.

Thomas Dortch, a trustee who heads the special committee, said a new agreement could eliminate some of the "extra" concessions the board made in the Sept. 15 proposal, including payments for legal fees and moving expenses.

Dortch said it was possible a revised agreement would end Mangum's presidency under the strict terms of her original employment contract.

"I think we have negotiated in good faith," said Kelvin Lawson, chairman of the trustees. "We want to be respectful as we deal with Dr. Mangum and her team, but at the same time we have a responsibility to move this university forward."