Students, citizens, faculty and staff crowded the Assembly Center for a community meeting with interim president Dr. Frank Pogue during convocation hours today.Dr. Pogue emphasized a cultural shift involving Grambling State University and others invested in the university and its success.
He maintained that the university should become and remain student centered. He stressed that the world must learn of Grambling success stories; but he also acknowledged areas that needed improvement. He encouraged the community to stop gossiping about each other, learn to trust again and said each individual should ask him- or herself how he/she contributes to the university.
He identified areas including timely responsiveness, integrity, financial competence, retention and hiring processes as needing improvement.
“How can Grambling State University be helpful to you?” he asked.
He talked about Grambling’s legacy on the field and in the classroom.
“We are good in athletics, but we are good in everything else,” he said.
The university is in an interesting position. Dr. Pogue said that having an interim president gives the community time to pause, reflect and look objectively at the university’s issues.
“Where are we and where are we trying to go?” he asked.
Budget cuts will continue to occur, creating an ongoing need, Dr. Pogue said. He noted that the university would begin correcting relationships with alumni.
The audience appeared receptive to Dr. Pogue’s suggestions and burst into simultaneous applause several times. The applause resonated when he addressed the infamous “Grambling runaround,” in which students typically visit numerous buildings before single requests are satisfied.
“Some of the barriers we have created ourselves,” he said.
The next community meeting to assess the university’s progress will be in late April, he said.