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FAMU president's resignation effective immediately

From George Howell, CNN
updated 11:27 AM EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The university's provost is next in line to become president
  • The Florida A&M University president's resignation is effective immediately
  • James Ammons had said he would retire in October
  • The resignation follows a band member's hazing death

(CNN) -- The Florida A&M University president's resignation went into effect Monday after the school's board of trustees accepted his request to step down from the job immediately.

President James Ammons originally said in a resignation letter that he would retire in October.

His departure comes more than seven months after a drum major for the university band died following a hazing incident. Robert Champion, 26, died after being beaten during a hazing ritual on a band bus after a football game in Orlando, Florida.

Champion's family said last week that "the rampant culture of hazing found at FAMU would not and could not be eradicated without some major housecleaning of those who turned a blind eye to the problem."

Ammons waived a 90-day notice of resignation Monday that would have kept him on staff through October.

In June, the trustees passed a no-confidence motion in Ammons' performance by an 8-4 vote.

"I hear you loudly and clearly," Ammons told the board at the time. "I understand there are some measures that I have to take as president of this university to fix things, and I am going to fix them."

The university's board plans to appoint Provost Larry Robinson as interim president, but he is subject to confirmation at the next board meeting in August.

The board agreed to the delay Monday in order to give members time to get to know Robinson better.

The provost is automatically next in line to become head of the university, as part of the university's plan of succession.

At Monday's meeting, some board members requested time to consider additional candidates and research Robinson's background.

Robinson has a doctorate in nuclear chemistry and has taught in the university's Environmental Sciences Institute.

His research interests include environmental chemistry and environmental policy and management, according to a biography posted on the university's website.

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