FAMU research VP gets nom for Obama post
FAMU is about to lose its VP for research -- but for good reason. President Barack Obama has nominated Larry Robinson to serve as assistant secretary of commerce (conservation and management) in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the Department of Commerce.
The U.S. Senate must confirm Robinson’s appointment.
“I am not surprised that he has been tapped for this position,” said FAMU president James H. Ammons. “While I am very happy for him, it is going to be a tremendous loss for the university. Dr. Robinson has had an outstanding career and has served as a professor, researcher, vice president for academic affairs and as a vice president for research. I am certain that he will do an outstanding job when confirmed. This nomination brings honor to not only Dr. Robinson and his family, but FAMU as well.”
An administrator at FAMU since 1997, Robinson has served as director of the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center headquartered at FAMU since 2001. The center is a consortium of predominantly minority-serving institutions that conduct research, education and outreach to improve the scientific basis of coastal resource management.
From 1997 to 2003, Robinson directed FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute, where he led efforts to establish B.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in 1998 and 1999, respectively. He served as FAMU's provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2003 to 2005. Between 1984 and 1997, Robinson also served as a research scientist and a group leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was appointed vice president of research at FAMU in May 2009.
If Robinson is confirmed in the post, he plans to take a leave of absence to retain his professorship in the FAMU Environmental Sciences Institute.
Robinson attended LeMoyne-Owen College in 1975, graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry from Memphis State University in 1979, and earned a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 1984.