President delivers annual opening address

Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue held the annual Fall Convocation Tuesday in the T.H. Harris Auditorium on campus. 

President Pogue summoned students, faculty and alumni to gather as he informed the Grambling community on developments at the institution. 

The convocation was primarily focused on the measures the university is taking to raise its academic profile, but began with the president talking about the achievements of the institution. 

The audience was informed that the university, although going through difficult budget cuts and financial emergency, has met and “exceeded” all performing targets, 100 percent. 

Dr. Pogue also announced that the university received high scores during a legislative audit in the spring.

The president also elaborated on the fact that the university will expand its online classes by offering more courses, such as biology, chemistry, accounting and economics. Online graduate level courses will include mass communication classes as well. 

The president talked about the importance of international students to the university. He pointed out that, even though international students make up only 8 percent of the student body, the group has a retention rate of 70 percent, higher than the school’s average. 

Dr. Pogue discussed upcoming projects, including incorporating the full name of late coach Eddie G. Robinson into the name of the football stadium. 

New employees, such as Will Sutton, were spotlighted. Sutton, who is a past president of the National Association of Black Journalists, is the director of Public Relations and Communications at the university.

The students of Grambling State University were praised by the president for the winning of a free concert during the HBCU Vitamin Water competition. 

Dr. Pogue emphasized that students should show more school spirit, by wearing black and gold, and taking pride of the university. He said students wearing clothing advertising other institutions is frowned upon. 

Although excited for the future of Grambling State students, the president had to touch base on many of the challenges prospective students will have to endure. 

With new changes to the system of public schools in Louisiana, students needing remedial classes to enter college will not be admitted to Grambling or to any other public schools in the state of Louisiana come fall 2014. 

Thirty-two percent of Grambling’s current students needed at least one remedial class when they entered the university.

The president encouraged all teachers, beginning in kindergarten, to prepare students for future academics.

With having to do “less with more”, President informed on the severity, of budget cuts the University will be facing. The president announced that the university is in the state of “emergency”. Southern Association College (SAC), has placed the University on warning. Due to misplaced finances of the institution, Grambling State University is undergoing a six month warning period. Although the university may not be in trouble, the President expressed his concern for his institution, stating, “Grambling is being treated unfairly”.

President Frank G. Pogue will inform the University on the new budget, after the completion of enrollment. With implementing many budget cuts, President Pogue, added that the enhancement of the student body from, 5,200 students to 7,000 is a mission Grambling State University seeks possible. While beautification projects, on buildings such as Charles P. Adams and Carver will still continue, the President added that more sidewalks will be made for students. Parking spaces behind the Tiger Express are in discussion as well. The president ended the convocation, with the entire T.H. Harris Auditorium singing The Alma Mater. Although Grambling will be facing many cuts, and having to do more with less, Grambling State University President encourage, students and alumni to gather together as the University undergoes one of its toughest periods.