Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2014: Robinson takes Thrasher to task for suggesting he agreed to split COE, calls claim “comical”

Back in 2014, state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, suggested that former FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson had supported the idea of splitting the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE) while he was in office.

But Robinson publicly took him to task for mischaracterizing his position.

“That is totally incorrect,” Robinson said in response to Thrasher’s claim in a Miami Herald blog story by reporter Tia Mitchell.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Thrasher said Robinson and former FSU President Eric Barron had been discussing the topic ‘for a long time’ and insinuated their agreement to the plan.”

Robinson told the Democrat he never agreed to any such thing.

“My position has always been that this is a bad idea,” Robinson told Democrat reporter Doug Blackburn. “You have what has been held up as a model of collaboration nationwide, and here we are talking about separating it without any solid reasons for doing it. All this talk about how Robinson and Barron agreed to it, is really comical to me.”

At the time Thrasher made the comments, he was leading the charge to provide FSU with money for a stand-alone College of Engineering. He called for FSU to receive $3M in new operating dollars and $10M to begin constructing a new engineering building on the university’s main campus.

Thrasher failed to get the money approved during the 2014 legislative session. Lawmakers opted instead to give the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) funds to study the COE, first.

A year later new FAMU President Elmira Mangum helped Thrasher, then president of FSU, put an end to 28 years of FAMU budget control at the COE. She didn’t understand that FAMU had been in charge of those operating dollars.

No comments: