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August 4, 2005

Bill Edmonds
Director of Communications
Florida Board of Governors

(850) 245-9724

SUS Chancellor Debra Austin will be new provost at Florida A&M University

TALLAHASSEE Ė State University System of Florida Chancellor Debra Austin announced today that she is accepting an offer to be the new provost and vice president of academic affairs at Florida A&M University. She will assume her new role at FAMU on September 6.

"I am very excited about this new challenge, one that puts me closer to the academic environment I love," Austin said. "I have gained tremendously from my work with the Board of Governors, and I look forward to putting that knowledge and experience to work helping Interim President Castell Bryant as she makes changes to ensure the future of FAMU. It is a great institution, and I want to be a part of its continuing success."

The provost is the universityís chief academic officer. President Bryant announced today that the current provost, Larry Robinson, would be stepping down and returning to his faculty position with the Environmental Sciences Institute.

"The Board of Governors is losing a skilled administrator and a gifted individual," said Carolyn Roberts, the Board of Governors chair. "I have worked with Dr. Austin since the Board of Governors was founded, and I have developed a deep respect for her. She managed an evolving board during a historic and trying time, and did so with dignity. Everyone who works with Debra quickly comes to know her as a woman of character and integrity. FAMU has made an excellent choice."

Roberts said the Board of Governors would discuss how to fill the chancellorís position at its next meeting.

The chancellor directs the staff of the Florida Board of Governors and works with the board to guide the 11 institutions of the State University System.

Debra Austin is a native of Leesburg with 25 yearsí experience in higher education, first as an English instructor at Lake-Sumter Community College and later in academic and administrative positions at Tallahassee Community College. She was Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida State University when she was named Chancellor of the State University System of Florida in May of 2003.

She holds a bachelorís degree in English from Michigan State University and a masterís in English from the University of Florida. She earned a masterís in business administration and the doctorate in education from Florida State University. She holds an honorary doctorate from Flagler College.

Photo of Chancellor Debra Austin is available at this link: