TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — For the first time since going before Florida A&M University's board of trustees, President Dr. Larry Robinson faced students during FAMU's Convocation on Friday.
"I just wanted them to know that they are really and truly important to us. We care about them and that whatever challenges that we face now like so many we faced in the past; we'll get through them together," said Robinson.
One week ago, trustees called on Robinson to be accountable for issues that have put the university in the national spotlight.
Things such as several football players being ineligible to play, not enough housing to accommodate incoming students, and students having to temporarily live in hotels due to a pest control issue within the dorms.
"We're committed to working with as well as holding you and the leadership team accountable for addressing the concerns expressed by our students including our student athletes," said Board Chair Kelvin Lawson during that meeting.
After a week of requesting interviews with Dr. Robinson, ABC 27 was able to catch up with him after convocation.
The question: when would the university be able to fulfill the promises made about more employees for compliance in athletics?
"What we hope to have is the full compliance staff in those positions that I referred to by the end of this year," said Robinson.
The university has committed to seven new positions to help support the athletics department. From 2019 to present the department dropped from three compliance officers down to one. FAMU says one person has been hired with a start date in late September with promises that other positions will be filled by the end of the year.
Jadon Roberts is a graduate student. While issues with football put the university in the spotlight, he says there are other areas he hopes to see improvements.
"I'm in the marching band and we need more compliance officers over there. To make sure our students are in compliance. The same kind of issue we see with the football team can apply to other athletic programs as well and we need to get ahead of it," said Roberts.
As the university works to address issues within, Dr. Robinson is asking for support.
"We can focus on the negative or focus on the positive and get those things fixed that might be in the way of us being as great as we could be. I'm just asking for people to do that. Get behind us and be a part of the team," says Robinson.