After the football team made headlines across the country from their boycott, a spotlight highlighted the financial woes of Grambling State University to the public eye and created a wave of generous donations.
In the recent years, Grambling and several state universities in Louisiana have been a victim of the infamous budget cuts. However, Grambling State University was on the short end of the stick, receiving the least amount of funds from the state.
According to the university’s president, Dr. Frank Pogue, Grambling is at its closet to declaring financial exigency.
“In the past six years, GSU has lost 57 percent of our state funding,” said Pogue in a news conference held in Long-Jones Hall last Friday.
Pogue reported that the boycott was used as a stepping stool for the university to learn from this experience. Seeing the national attention as a window of opportunities to shine light on the financial burden placed on the institution, the university raised awareness on other areas affected from the limited revenue and resources available.
“If you want to be helpful, write Grambling a check,” said Pogue.
Before the wave of cuts came, Grambling State was operating on a $31 million budget; however, it has gone on a downward spiral to a very low amount.
“Grambling is now operating on a fiscal budget of $13 million from the state of Louisiana,” said William Sutton, the acting communications and public relations director at the university.
Since Grambling has been experiencing a financial crisis, classes have been overcrowded, faculty members have been asked to teach an excessive number of classes and departments have suffered throughout the campus.
Several faculty members in the university have either been let go or haven’t seen a pay increase in years. According to The Monroe News-Star, GSU’s faculty salary average is approximately $54,405, which is 9 percent below the average. Both University of Louisiana at Monroe and Louisiana Tech University have an average well over Grambling’s faculty salaries.
Breaking the numbers down, ULM has the second highest average salary amongst both universities, which is approximately $61,353. Standing at the top for faculty salary averages is La. Tech with an average salary of $63,576.
One of the complaints made by the G-Men were the long hours on the road to away games, such the ones played in Kansas City and Indianapolis.
As a result, decisions such as driving 755 miles to play in Indianapolis for the Circle City Classic, instead of flying have been made. According to the Athletics Department, the decision was recently made this semester to cancel flight for the game.
“If we flew to Indiana it would of cost us about $70,000,” said Aaron James, the athletic director. “We just can’t afford it and it’s not an easy decision.”
James said he wanted the players to fly, but this move saved the department money.