GSU hires enrollment vice president to help increase its numbers

Dr. Paul Bryant is the new vice president of enrollment management and retention. The Elizabeth City, N.C., native was the vice president of student affairs at Delaware State University before coming to Grambling State. Dr. Bryant said he doesn’t believe there are any secrets to maintaining healthy enrollment and retention.

Nearly 5,000 students were enrolled last fall.

The university expects an increase this fall, he said. He stressed the importance of GSU maintaining high standards.

“Students must know we have great expectations of what they can do,” said Dr. Bryant.

One of the things students can do is graduate with timeliness. GSU’s six-year graduation rate was 30.5 percent beginning in 2002, according to www.gram.edu.

If administrators become aware of the unique problems affecting students, Grambling State University would no longer have the “revolving door” of students leaving dissatisfied, he said.

By speaking with the Student Government Association, clubs and Greek-letter organizations, the concerns of the students can be better understood, said Dr. Bryant.

Orientation must be turned into graduation, said Dr. Bryant, who plans to have “welcoming lines” of faculty and staff for students during orientation.

The goal is for new students to see that they can become successful, like their greeters. The university’s government funding relies on that success.

The Board of Regents recently sent about $1.4 billion to managing boards at the University of Louisiana, Louisiana State University, Southern University and Louisiana Community and Technical College systems to split between institutions.

The split stems from a new formula. The funding formula rewards research, job training, high retention and graduation rates at four-year institutions.

The formula bases 25 percent of monies to performance-based standards, including research, science, student access and graduation rates.

With the vice president of enrollment and management’s assistance, a climate change can be sparked.

Dr. Bryant emphasized the importance of reminding students why they are here.

“In our house, education is second to none,” he said.

While he constantly added that students know the ins-and-outs of the campus experience better than anyone else, he placed responsibility on faculty and staff.

HBCUs are supposed to have a special quality, nurture and teach students to exude excellence, he said.

“We should not be taking (their) dreams from them.”

Concerned students can call 318-274-6018 for more information about graduation and retention.