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Jax Daily Record Monday, Dec. 30, 201312:00 PM EST

New FAMU president expected to be named early next month

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Florida A&M University is still on track to name its next president by Jan. 9, the university’s board of trustees decided in a meeting by telephone late Friday afternoon.

FAMU had begun the search after James H. Ammons resigned in July 2012, stepping down in the wake of the November 2011 hazing death of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion.

Many alumni and other interested parties openly favor Interim President Larry Robinson, 58, who had been the university’s provost under Ammons but who is not a candidate — for now, at least.

Meanwhile, dozens of candidates have applied — including former state senator Al Lawson — and more are applying as the Jan. 3 deadline approaches.

On Friday’s conference call, several trustees suggested a somewhat longer process.

“I still have some nervousness about the speed with which we are undertaking this,” said trustee Marjorie Turnbull, a former state legislator.

But trustee Belinda Shannon said the board had started its search a year before and agreed to move forward after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools decided whether to remove FAMU from it 12-month probation, as it did earlier this month.

The presidential search was suspended last March while Robinson focused on steering the university back to full re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accrediting body, had placed the university on probation in December 2012, following Champion’s highly-publicized hazing death and a series of questionable audits.

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