Of FAMU’s 12 colleges, only seven have permanent deans.
And administrators say the search is on to find permanent replacements.
Provost Larry Robinson said search committees were formed to select the most competent people to fill the vacancies. After interviewing numerous applicants to replace former SBI dean Sybil Mobley, a committee decided it would be best to continue its search.
“Just like our students are very selective, we want to make sure we select the most qualified candidates,” he said. “We are trying to replace a legend.”
With FAMU using venues such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, trade journals and the state university system website to advertise, a variety of persons are able to apply for the positions.
Due to lack of time, Robinson said when choosing the interims, people who were skilled and already at the university were selected.
A vacancy was made when Robinson, former director of the Environmental Sciences Institute, took the job as provost on May 5. The institute is being headed by Richard Gragg III.
Hazel Taylor, the coordinator of research, programs and services for the insitute, said that since Gragg filled Robinson’s shoes, there has not been any serious dilemmas.
“Because our associate director was promoted to interim and he was working closely with our previous director, we haven’t had any major problems,” she said.
John M. Davis, associate professor of counselor education, said that the interim dean of education, Robert Lemmons is also performing well in his new role.
“His ability to communicate with and motivate the faculty is excellent,” he said.
Davis said the education faculty has requested that Lemmons become the permanent dean.
Students like Lucritia Jackson and Alicia Weaver say the procedure for finding the permanent deans and director should not be hurried.
“The process should not be rushed because they should find someone who is competent of propelling the college and taking it higher.,” said Jackson, 21, a senior animal science/pre-vet student from South Bay. “Someone who isn’t just mediocre.”
“I want them to take necessary steps to find the right person. I don’t want them to just put anyone in the position because they want a permanent. I think they should take however much time they need,” said Weaver, an 18-year-old freshman MBA candidate from Detroit.
Steven Uhlfelder, former chair of the board of regents and member of the Florida University Board of Governors, there is no time limit on choosing a permanent dean. He said ample time should be allowed for the vacancies to be filled.
Robinson said he has set a deadline for himself.
“My main goal is to start the 2004-2005 academic school year with a full slate of deans and directors,” he said. “I hope the students understand how hard we are working on these things.”