famu_band_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced it has begun a national search for a new band director as part of changes being instituted following a hazing tragedy that killed a student.

The university started the process Friday by posting an advertisement on its website, soliciting candidates for the position. FAMU is hoping to fill the position before the end of the fall 2012 semester, Larry Robinson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said in a FAMU statement.

Longtime band director Julian White, who was at the center of the storm following the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion, abruptly announced his retirement in May. He had insisted that he made several attempts to get university officials to tackle hazing but without success. University President James Ammons tried firing him and eventually settled for putting him on administrative leave.

“The new director of bands will play a lead role in implementing new policies and procedures that are critical to the future of the Marching ‘100’ which has been suspended for the 2012-13 academic year,” the statement said.

Robinson tapped Rodner Wright, dean of the School of Architecture, to chair the search committee comprising 13 members drawn from faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The new director will report to the chairman of the FAMU Music Department, which is a change; the previous director also served as department chairman.  Robinson said that would add an extra layer of supervision.

The chosen candidate will oversee all aspects of the marching and pep bands.  Specific duties and responsibilities will include overseeing all activities of band student organizations and ensembles; providing creative direction; recruiting students for membership; teaching the marching band courses and other courses as needed; planning and directing the summer high school band camp; fund raising; planning and executing the band's travel to athletics events and other events that have been approved by the university and functioning as the liaison between the Athletics Department, the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Music.

The person will work closely with the music department compliance officer, a newly created position.