New FAMU interim president Larry Robinson emphasizes campus safety in wake of hazing death of Robert Champion

11:53 AM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
Former FAMU Provost Larry Robinson is the university's new interim president.
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida A&M University officially has a new interim president who hopes to bring stability to the school following its struggles with hazing on campus.

This morning the FAMU Board of Trustees unanimously confirmed Larry Robinson as interim president. Robinson has been filling that role since James Ammons suddenly resigned last month in the wake of a hazing-related death of a band member.

Robinson says he wants to make FAMU internationally recognized as a premier university that prepares students to make a positive impact.

He says the school faces some major issues, including a low four-year graduation rate and safety on campus. FAMU is in the process of implementing an anti-hazing plan that results from the death of drum major Robert Champion, who was killed during a hazing ritual last year.

But Robinson is confident he can help the university move forward.

"I think we have a firm foundation to start from and I'm not starting from scratch. I got a lot behind me I have the support of the board that's very, very important and I have the support of our major constituents. That's also extremely helpful."

This is the second time Robinson has served as interim president during his 15-year tenure at FAMU. He was interim president for six weeks in 2007.

Robinson also offered a message to parents about campus safety and encouraged them to continue sending their children to FAMU.

"I want parents to know that we place a lot of emphasis on safety, not just the hazing issue alone, but our overall perspective is on having a safe campus in every aspect. Students coming and going, visitors coming and going, we've spent a lot of time working on that this past year."

The FAMU board appointed a nine-member committee to start the search for a permanent president. That process is expected to take six to 12 months, but board members say they will take as long as they need to make sure they hire the best person.

Robinson has taken his name out of the running for the president's job because he thinks that will help attract more candidates for the job.

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