FAMU postpones president search until Jan. 2014

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-19 16:34:26-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Larry Robinson's job as president of Florida A & M University is supposed to be just temporary. He'll now be on the job at least until January of next year when FAMU leaders will resume their search for a new president.

"The whole purpose was to provide space time and opportunity to get us to where we need to be," said Solomon Badger.

Board of trustees, chairman Solomon Badger first called off the search for a new president in March.

FAMU is on accreditation probation with the Southern Association of Colleges and schools.

Badger said getting back in good standing needs to be taken care of "first."

"As soon as we can get the sacs probation thing done, along with all of the things that drive that probation, we get back into the business of trying to put a president in place," said Badger.

The board is working with interim president Larry Robinson to lay out exactly what his responsibilities will be to help turn the university around.

While the search for a new president is on pause, university leaders are moving closer to filling another major seat at FAMU. That being the director of the famed Marching 100.

This week university leaders interviewed two possible candidates. The search has some asking, why find a band director before a president?

"I mean we didn't postpone the football season. Its important to have a president, but the university has to keep functioning as well, and as the board pointed out its important that we have the right people in place to allow that to happen," said Robinson.

The other issues before the board today, students and parents pleading with officials to reinstate students who have been suspended for allegedly participating in hazing. One father drove all the way from Atlanta, Ga to express his concerns about his daughter's status at FAMU.

Reggie Sylvain said his daughter was allegedly involved in hazing according to the university. Pledges and members of Delta Sigma Theta spoke during public comment at the meeting.

The organization was put on probation after a hazing incident was reported via the university's new anti-hazing website that allows anyone to report hazing incidents anonymously. Inita Knox, a student at FAMU told the board she fainted during a gathering with members of the sorority and wasn't hazed. Knox said she has a heart condition and frequently faints. The speakers also asked for matter to be handled care soon because graduation is in just two weeks and those students haven't been able to attend classes.

Robinson and the board of trustees said they will see that these issues get addressed as soon as possible.