News of Dr. Frank Pogue’s selection as interim university president for Grambling State surfaced Tuesday. He spent the next few days in meetings.
Pogue boasts nearly 50 years of higher education experience. He was noted at Edinborough University in Pennsylvania for having both an “open-door” and an “open budget” policy.
In a meeting with media earlier this week, Dr. Pogue emphasized the importance of a student-centered university and environment.
The Edinborough university paper noted him for doing so during his tenure there.
GSU has taken national heat for basketball player Henry White’s death and the departure of former president Dr. Horace Judson.
“Any place you go you’re going to find challenges,” he said.
Dr. Pogue said he was excited about the opportunity to serve Grambling and explained how The University of Louisiana System selected him as interim president.
“(My selection was) not a response to Judson, as much as a need for leadership at Grambling,” he said.
Dr. Pogue said he planned to build Grambling State’s strengths and make sure the rest of the world knows about them.
“I don’t plan to dwell on negatives,” he said. “Grambling is not disadvantaged.”
The interim president said he wanted to observe and learn the Grambling culture before he began making changes.
He said he plans to meet with all groups, faculty, staff and members of the community and “bring the university to the people.”
While acknowledging the role of churches in communities, especially near HBCUs, Dr. Pogue said he frequented visit different spiritual centers.
“I want to bring people of good will together,” he said.
It will not be all be pleasant. Grambling State has faced threatening situations on campus during the past couple of years.
“Any threat on person’s life, death, rape . I want to know about it,” Dr. Pogue said.
Pogue spoke with consistent hope during the meeting.
His reputation matches his talk. While at Edinborough University, the Frank and Dorothy Pogue Honors Scholarship Fund raised upwards of $900,000.
Dr. Pogue stressed the importance of “fund-raising and friend raising” for Grambling State University.
He said he plans to work closely with the alumni.
“I try to bring people together to bring about resolutions,” he said.
Pogue graduated from Alabama State University with a B.A. in sociology.
He has M.A. in sociology is from Atlanta University and has earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.