Larry Robinson is shown at a campus event.
Monday, for the first time since his appointment, Interim President Larry Robinson addressed students at the meeting of the 46th Student Senate and stated his vision for FAMU moving forward.
President Robinson said that his primary concern is the welfare of students and their education.
“At the top of my list is figuring out how to enhance your educational experience and to ensure that you stay here only long enough to get the best of that experience possible; and that goes to retention, progression, graduation and on the end of that we want to then ensure that you leave here with — the minimum debt possible” said Robinson.
Robinson plans to revisit his retention, progression and graduation debt reduction program, from 2012, in hopes to possibly use some of its proponents for students today. He also plans to continue and build on the current Living Learning Communities put in place during former President Mangum’s tenure.
“We marry the students more closely with other like-minded students and with faculty and administrators who can then be mentors to those students … We can up the ante by having you in environments where everyone is working for your ultimate success: faculty, staff and students” said Robinson.
Student success both at the University and post-graduation were major talking points throughout his speech as he promised to make his goal to provide a “world-class education” to FAMU students. Robinson continued to reiterate that not only are retention and graduation important but that the “right array of academic programs “are being offered to students to guarantee their success.
“We have to now ensure that we’re measured as to how successful you are in gaining employment outside of the University. We have to make sure that the innovative degree programs are available to you so that you are marketable once you leave.”
Student Government Association Senate President Brandon Johson said, "Overall his platform was making sure that students were involved and included but not neglected, which was very reassuring to students."
Robinson also said that he plans to continue several of the initiatives that began with Mangum. Most importantly he wants to continue internationalization efforts and open doors for students and increase recruitment efforts.
“We don’t have to start from scratch, we just don’t have to start from scratch. We can’t afford to start from scratch and leave all this good work already done,” he said.
Robinson ended his address to students by stating that it is not presently, nor has it been in the past, his goal to become the next president of the university.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I did not come to FAMU to be president. I never even imagined being president. That position was well spoken for with the likes of Dr. Humphries and the rich history of the other presidents, for me to think about that — it almost sounded ridiculous. I will do everything I can while I’m in this role to do my best ,because I’m here. But I’m not going to be campaigning to be FAMU’s next president,” Robinson said.