Florida A&M Interim President Larry Robinson addressed details of the university’s 12-month probation to students and faculty Wednesday.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed FAMU on probation Tuesday because of areas of non-compliance. However, the school will continue to be a fully accredited institution during the probationary period.
FAMU is working on issues surrounding internal audits, safety and the qualifications of administrators. According to Robinson, the main issue that led to the probation was core requirement 1.1: principle of integrity. Robinson said he spoke with the Dean’s Council prior to the town hall meeting and that officials will soon begin to review administrative staff members’ credentials.
“I don’t anticipate we’re going to find people are unqualified, but in the event that we do, we’ll deal with that on a case-by-case basis,” Robinson said. “Since this is an employment issue, you have to be very careful at how you address it.”
Students, including Student Government Association Vice President Michael Jefferson, commended Robinson for his prompt delivery of information. Stanley Hardy, a fourth-year political science and pre-law student from Miami, said he has full confidence in the SACS Leadership Team and Robinson.
“After the forum, I feel very confident that Interim President Larry Robinson has the leadership capability to address the issues directly,” Hardy said. “Seeing him on the stage definitely showed me that he has that leadership capability to get rid of administrators that need to be gotten rid of.”
Other students shared their concerns about the possibility of FAMU losing its accreditation.
“I have a slight fear,” said Kachi Ukpabi Jr., a pharmacy student from Atlanta. “I think this should be a wake-up call for FAMU to get on our stuff. We’re a good university, but we could be so much better.”
Robinson ensured graduating students that their degrees would still be valuable. SACS pinpointed four primary areas of concern, but the university’s academic standards were not among them.
“Your degrees will mean the same as they would have last year,” Robinson said.
SACS will provide a complete letter outlining its decision in about a week. A more detailed report will be given in January. SACS will then visit the school during within the following six months.