GSU president speaks in open letter

Dear Friends and Supporters of Grambling State University:

I am sure that you are aware of the recent boycott by our football players (which ended recently), that brought national and international attention to Grambling State University. I believe good things can come from creative tension. Creative tension can be used to bring attention to the larger needs of society. In this case, we are using it to bring attention to something larger than athletics – larger than football. What we are addressing today is symptomatic of something larger that exists on our campus – our financial plight. We have serious needs across the entire university.

While the inadequate football facilities received much attention recently, we have many other buildings and areas that are in need of upgrading. We will use our limited resources to respond to these inadequacies and solicit the support of alumni, corporate sponsors and our university friends to contribute to these urgent needs of the university.

Over the past six years, the university’s state appropriation has been drastically reduced from $31.6 million to $13.8 million. In essence, the university is operating on an annual budget that is lower than the operational budget six years ago. Grambling, when compared to other University of Louisiana System (ULS) schools, is closest to declaring financial exigency. These budget cuts come at a time when the State of Louisiana has mandated annual increases in college admission standards for high school graduates; annual increases in tuition since FY 2008 have resulted in a 61% increase in tuition and fees; 60% of our parents do not qualify for education loans; the state has mandated performance measures focused on student retention and graduation rates; and, the nation-wide economy has led to excessive unemployment. These developments and others negatively impact the university’s ability to fulfill its historic mission of providing exceptional opportunities for underserved citizens, many of whom are African Americans.

Despite the current budget shortfall and the anticipation of additional cuts, Grambling State University continues its commitment to educate our students and provide them with state of the art technology and resources. We are focused on maintaining and increasing academic excellence through quality classroom and online instruction. Moreover, we have strengthened our recruitment efforts across the country and are working towards establishing a stronger scholarship endowment that will promote retention and graduation.

In 2012, I made a direct appeal to alumni and all members of the Grambling family alumni to support our university by pledging to donate $1,000 during the campaign period which began Homecoming 2012 and will end Homecoming 2013 (November 2, 2013). Many of you responded and for that we are grateful. I am re-announcing the appeal and asking for your help to improve the university.

Please make your payment directly to Grambling University Foundation, Inc. to ensure that the university receives your personal contribution. You may contact Mrs. Brenda Williams in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 318-274-6032 or if you have any questions or need additional information. Please be assured that the university will acknowledge your contribution and ensure that it is used for the purpose you have identified. All donors will be listed on the university’s website.




Frank G. Pogue

Ph.D. President