The Department of Music at Grambling State University received a visit recently from the National Association of Schools of Music.
A two-team advisory committee consulted with President Frank G. Pogue, department heads, faculty and students during its Oct. 9-11 visit. They discussed the progress of the program and validated the requirements necessary for reaccreditation.
GSU had to prepare a self-study within a year, which was the main purpose of the trip.
“The self-study is a microcosm of your department,” said Dr. Larry Pannell, Music Department head. “It explains everything that your department is doing in terms of NASM rules, governance and administration.”
The self-study also includes the number of students, faculty, majors, degree programs, advising, equipment and the department and university’s mission statements.
“Everything was good except for three findings, we must straighten up,” said Dr. Pannell.
The NASM guidelines require that every department renew equipment every 10 years, but due to recent Louisiana educational budget cuts GSU failed to follow protocol. Dr. Pannell remembers the last time the equipment was revamped was nearly 13 years ago.
Grambling is working to resolve the problem. Dr. Pannell mentioned Dr. Pogue’s recent plea for alumni’s support of $1,000 as a way to make a contribution to not only The Department of Music, but also Grambling as a whole. As a GSU alum, he has pledged to make his donation for the sustainability of the university.
They also devised a plan that will break the purchasing of new equipment over the next several months.
NASM suggested that the state review the official name of the department’s degree programs.
Another minor change is a new safety clause that must be applied all letterheads sent from the department.
The committee conducted several meetings throughout their two-day visit.
Ten students were selected from every classification and into a conference room to be interviewed by the committee. No faculty or staff members were allowed to be present.
After the meeting with the students, they conducted interviews with the entire faculty of the department, the university librarian, academic dean, vice president of academic affairs and the institutions president.
“I’m the first to greet them and the last to see them,” said Dr. Pannell as he commented about his exit interview with the committee.
Dr. Pannell added that the program didn’t lose accreditation and will receive their official letter detailing the improvements suggested by the NASM by the end of the month.
The department will be given about six weeks to reply to the letter with corrections that they have already began implementing.
During the summer, NASM will reaffirm the music department’s accreditation for another 10 years. They will not return again until 2022.
“When you look at the National Association of Schools of Music, you are not looking at the Chevrolet or Volkswagen of accreditation,” said Dr. Pannell “You are looking at the Rolls-Royce, not even Mercedes, of accreditation. The accreditation is not only important for the department, but for the university.”