Committee Begins Search for New President

The Presidential Search Committee started its search for the next president of Florida A&M Wednesday and stressed that the university aims to have a new president by fall 2013.

The Board of Trustees officially appointed Larry Robinson as interim president last week after James H. Ammons submitted his letter of resignation in July, although Robinson said that he does not want the position of president.

His resignation came after a vote of “no-confidence” from the board

Committee members include trustees Karl E. White and Spurgeon McWilliams as co-chairs. Trustees Torey Alston, Tommy Mitchell, Sr.,  Marissa West, Narayan Persaud , Belinda Shannon, Marjorie Turnbull and Elizabeth L. Webster.

FAMU’s Deputy General Council Shira Thomas informed the committee of the importance of making documents for the selection process accessible to the public concurrent with Florida’s Sunshine Laws that provide transparency in government.

Several committee members expressed their concern for the candidates’ lack of confidentiality during the process.

McWilliams said that the committees usually start off with 100 candidates and end up with about two or three.

“When they (the committee) talk to potential candidates, once they let them know that when their name becomes a part of the process it is public, and we lose a lot of candidates,” said Turnbull.

A subcommittee was also appointed to assist the search process. The past two contracted searches for presidents have cost between $105,000 to $110,000. Each took 90 days to hire official search firms.

“The searches in the past have given the kind of leadership we need,” said McWilliams.

Trustee Persaud asserted, “We must be on guard that the institution is larger than the person we are on search for. “