Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue told an audience of students, faculty and staff Thursday though the institution is facing serious financial challenges, there continue to be good things happening.
Prior to the event, the president said “these are challenging, difficult times, but we will get through all of this, and I want people to know that there are good things happening at Grambling State University. No matter what, we will focus on our core mission and we will continue to enhance the academic profile of this university and its students.” The event fulfilled the promise.
Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members gathered for the “State of Grambling State University” updates in the T.H. Harris Auditorium.
Though the university budget wasn’t a big topic covered during the event, Pogue didn’t shy away from addressing the large issue as a major concern. “Over the last three and half years we’ve lost half of our state funding and we anticipate starting this new budget year with even more budget cuts,” he said.
The president said Thursday wasn’t the day to focus on those challenges. He said he’ll work with his administration and a cross-section of the university community, including alumni, “to develop ways to address what we need to address and keep Grambling State University going” at his annual summer retreat in July.
As he made a point of focusing on good news, Pogue congratulated the campus newspaper, The Gramblinite, for winning nine awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region V, including a first place win for best, all-around, non-daily campus newspaper.
Also, he told students that he met with outgoing Student Government Association President Jonathan Allen and incoming SGA president Jordan Harvey and promised to have a student appreciation day this fall.
Nicholas Powell, 21, a senior accounting and economics major, believes he got an update on a lot of things going on that will result in progress on Grambling State’s behalf.
Nettie Daniels, associate vice president for Planning and Institutional Research, coordinated the event. She said the goal was to have an “uplifting” program, including music provided by the Grambling State University World-Famed Tiger Marching Band and the university faculty/staff choir ensemble. She said she and the president wanted to ” provide positiveness so the students are not dwelling on the bad things” and “so that everyone can understand that regardless of what’s going on, we are constantly making progress at Grambling and it was great.”
Casey Byrd, assistant director of student activities, said the program was “informative and positive.” The Shreveport native said “it was nice to hear all of the good things that’s going on campus.” It was very informational for students.”
“It is impossible to capture everything going on at a university in just a few minutes,” said Pogue. He still believes that the approach Grambling State is using to tackle the challenges is a “real example that we are moving forward as a university.”