FAMU: Interim U
FAMU has another temporary leader. The trustees voted unanimously within the past hour to make former Provost Larry Robinson the chief operating officer for the next seven weeks. The action was necessitated by interim President Castell Bryant's decision last week to resign a month ahead of schedule. Bryant's official last day is May 31, but she requested leave time beginning today, and acting Trustees Chair Bill Jennings said he agreed.
Jennings said he first asked Provost Debra Austin to serve as interim president, but she declined. Austin said at the end of today's brief meeting that she submitted her resignation, effective May 31, "some time ago" and could not deviate from that schedule. Robinson, who served as provost until Bryant replaced him with Austin, will serve until President-elect James Ammons takes the reigns July 2.
Jennings told the other trustees that he did not think Robinson should be called the "interim president, but did not elaborate. Since former President Humphries left at the end of 2001, the top spot at FAMU has been a revolving door. Humphries was replaced by interim President Henry Lewis III, who was replaced by President Fred Gainous, who was replaced by Bryant. Jennings said he, Robinson and Ammons will meet tomorrow "to make sure we have the right coordination during this transition period."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter