Search for assistant continues


The search committee for the Special Assistant to the President for anti-hazing met just days before the Robert Champion trial was set to begin in Orlando.

“We’re not going to find someone who has everything we are looking for,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, dean of the School of Business and Industry and search committee member. “The higher up someone has moved in a particular position, the more experience they are likely to have.”

This is a fairly new position at most universities and Florida A&M aims to set a precedent for future universities who want to implement the position to help prevent hazing.

The members of the search committee are responsible for finding applicants who have never served in this position but are still qualified to do the job.

“People are going to be looking at us to see what we’re going to do,” said Jermaine Robertson, program director for the community psychology program and search committee member.

Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Gita Pitter led the discussion of possible candidates. 

The committee members reviewed and narrowed the pool to 61 qualified applicants prior to Friday’s meeting. At the meeting, members voted on each qualified applicant, eventually narrowing the pool even further to 16.

After another round of cuts, the committee will begin interviews for top applicants.


“I was surprised at the amount of clerical applicants we received,” said Joe Ann Houston, English professor and search committee member.


The position vacancy announcement, sent out by FAMU, listed the special assistant position as an “Executive Assistant.” The committee agreed that some might have interpreted the position title as one involving clerical work.


Members spent the majority of the meeting deciding what criteria they would use to judge the 16 applicants during the next meeting. Categories such as “technological astuteness,” “management of information” and “investigative experience” sparked much debate between the committee members.