FAMU vice president for research testifies before Senate

Larry Robinson stressed his research credentials and goals to the U.S Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during his testimony confirmation hearing on Thursday.

A vice president for research at Florida A&M, Robinson was nominated to be the next assistant secretary of commerce on Jan. 29 by President Barack Obama.

Robinson highlighted key elements of his tenure on the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel and other positions that prepared him for the position.

“Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I will work collaboratively with this committee, and congress to ensure that the full capacity of our assets are utilized to meet our responsibility to manage the resources entrusted to us and arrive at a future defi ned by our collective vision that is in the best interest of this nation,” he said.

FAMU appointed Robinson vice president for research in May 2009. Prior to that, he held numerous positions including provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2003-2005.

In 2001, he became the director of the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) headquartered at FAMU. For six years, from 1997- 2003, Robinson directed FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute, where he led efforts to establish the Bachelor
of Science and Ph.D. degree programs in 1998 and 1999, according to FAMU Web site.

“He has a strong history of applying his scientific research to help communities meet the challenges of coastal resource management,”said John D. Rockefeller IV, chairman for U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in a March 18 press release.

“Through his work at the Environmental Cooperative Science Center, Dr. Robinson is committed to engaging students and creating our next generation of scientists.”

Robinson credited working with the National Research Council’s Committee, the National Ecological Observatory Network’s Science, Technology and Education Advisory Committee, the Oceans Research and Resources Advisory Panel and FAMU for contributing to his leadership experience.

“Through these collective experiences and others, I have come to know and appreciate the Department of Commerce and NOAA and their responsibilities and resources very well,” he said.

In a recent university release, President James H. Ammons said he was excited for Robinson.

“Dr. Robinson has had an outstanding career and has served as a professor, researcher and vice president for academic affairs and as a vice president for research,” Ammons said. “I am certain that he will do an outstanding job when confi rmed. This nomination brings honor to not only Dr. Robinson and his family,but FAMU as well.”

No date has been set for the confirmation vote.