On Thursday, the State University System of Florida Board of Governors confirmed the appointment of Florida A&M University (FAMU) Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.
Robinson has been in the position since September 15, when the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT) unanimously selected him to serve during a transition in University leadership.
State University System Chancellor Marshall Criser III said, “Larry is a leader not only for Florida A&M University but for the state of Florida. Given his leadership, including at the national level, it is absolutely a great opportunity for all of us to move the University forward.”
Robinson’s career includes leadership at the federal level. In 2010, he served as assistant secretary of commerce for Conservation and Management and deputy NOAA administrator.
He was FAMU’s interim president in 2007 and from 2012 to 2014.
Robinson has played a pivotal role in the University’s success for nearly 20 years, including serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2003-2005 and vice president for Research from 2009-2010. Last year, he chaired the University’s Strategic Planning Task Force.
Just days before he was appointed interim president for a third time, Robinson assumed another distinguished role as director of the newly established, FAMU-led National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. FAMU received $15.4 million from NOAA to fund the center over five years.
During his remarks to members of the Board of Governors, Robinson outlined his strategy for addressing key elements of the 10 performance metrics established by the Board to evaluate state universities.
Robinson said, “I enthusiastically accept the responsibility of this job, fully realizing our challenges, along with the opportunity to serve our awesome students, and become even better stewards of the resources invested in us by the State, federal agencies, donors, alumni, and friends.”
He continued, “I hope it is clear that student success will be the primary focus during my tenure. And, at the same time we will keep our attention focused upon additional priorities such as student safety; our ten-year SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)reaffirmation; and the recruitment of college-ready students.”
Before the confirmation vote, FAMU’s BOT chair Kevin Lawson, lauded Robinson when he introduced him to the Board.
“Dr. Robinson has demonstrated a vast amount of experience in several areas which we believe would provide invaluable leadership to FAMU as interim president,” said Lawson. “Among those critical areas include his strong leadership skills and proven devotion to the growth and development of students and the University employees who serve them. Additionally, his dedication to strengthening various areas, such as, donor development and stakeholder relationship building is critical.”
Robinson joined FAMU in 1997 as director and professor of the Environmental Sciences Institute, which is now the School of the Environment. Today, Robinson has a unique title at FAMU – distinguished professor.
Robinson attended Lemoyne-Owen College, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Memphis State University, and a doctoral degree in nuclear chemistry from Washington University.