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Decision moves Robinson closer to FAMU presidency

FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson
FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson

Larry Robinson moved closer to shedding the interim label and becoming president of Florida A&M University when the state Board of Governors agreed Thursday to waive a rule that requires schools to conduct national searches before picking new leaders.

The Board of Governors' unanimous vote during a meeting at the University of Central Florida gives the FAMU Board of Trustees the option of permanently hiring Robinson, who has been acting as the school's interim president since last year when trustees ousted former President Elmira Mangum.

The Board of Governors also reaffirmed Robinson's appointment as interim president, although that is likely to change when FAMU trustees, who had requested the waiver, meet later this month.

“We will take the next step at our meeting and make a firm decision to either appoint Dr. Robinson as permanent president or conduct a national search,” said Kelvin Lawson, chairman of the school's board of trustees.

Gregory Clark, president of FAMU's National Alumni Association, and Hosetta Coleman, vice chairwoman of the FAMU Foundation, told the Board of Governors that their organizations support Robinson's appointment as the permanent president.

“We want stability at Florida A&M, but even more, we want a leader who interfaces with corporate America and with varied constituents and one who has a vision that Florida A&M University remains on its current competitive trajectory,” Coleman said.