Members of Grambling State University’s Faculty Senate have voted “no-confidence” in President Willie Larkin.
The vote of the 18-member senate was 10 in favor and seven against, with one abstention in the vote taken Tuesday. Larkin’s immediate predecessor, former interim President Cynthia Warrick, also received a no-confidence vote in November 2014.
GSU Interim Director of Communications Mitzi LaSalle said the school’s administration had not received official notification of the no confidence vote. She said President Larkin was out of town attending meetings with state legislators about the state’s budget.
Faculty Senate President Herbert Simmons has been vocal in both votes against the GSU presidents, he told the told The Monroe News-Star. Simmons said while Larkin met with the faculty group three or four times over the past few months, he did not address their concerns.
Since taking over in 2015, Larkin hasn’t taken sufficient action to deal with the problems expressed, particularly maintaining accreditation in the College of Business and regaining accreditation for the School of Nursing.
The vote caps what senate members described as months of neffective leadership from Larkin. Cited as Larkin’s weaknesses were declaring financial exigency of the school’s nursing program, suspending GSU’s national search for an athletic director, and a community town hall meeting during which a student questioned his allegiance to the university.
“If history is any indication, the faculty has grown accustomed to the status of the operating budget, enrollment issues and the athletic department’s deficit,” Simmons told The News-Star, adding that Larkin has yet to introduce a recruiting plan.
“The challenge we have at Grambling, we can’t lay total blame with Dr. Larkin. There are aspects at the state level that continue to work and play a role in getting enrollment up,” Simmons said.
He added that the senate will continue to base its decisions on what they observe at Grambling. “We do this as a Faculty Senate member, not as a student or alumni,” he said.
Due to the budget crisis and issues concerning faculty and administration at GSU, the Student Government Association has decided to hold a meeting to allow students to ask questions of the both the president and members of his administration.
The meeting will be held today at 6 p.m. in the Nursing Building Auditorium on the GSU campus.