Grambling Presidential Search Committee to Meet Feb. 24

Search Chair to Recommend Selecting New President in June

BATON ROUGE – The Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee will meet in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, to receive a report from its search firm and consider a revised timeline that aims to name a new president in June.  The goal in the current timeline was to name a president in April who could start in the summer prior to the fall term.  Even with the two-month shift, this could still happen.

“It is critical that we do nothing to limit our choices and these extra two months are worth the potential delay to ensure that we give ourselves the best pool of candidates possible.  Therefore, it will be my recommendation that we shift the timeline by two months while still retaining the original goal to have the president begin work at Grambling as close as possible to the beginning of the fall term,” said University of Louisiana System President and Grambling Presidential Search Chair Sandra K. Woodley.

In a message sent earlier this month, Woodley shared a letter from search firm, The Hollins Group, outlining recruiting challenges due to higher education’s budget uncertainties.  The letter states some potential candidates will not consider applying and several top candidates already in the pool will withdraw if they are publicly mentioned before Grambling’s budget future is clearer.

Higher education is facing a possible loss of almost $400 million in FY 2015-16 that would equate to anywhere from a 40 to 60 percent loss of state funding for Grambling.  The legislative session does not begin until April and the magnitude of the budget crises will not be known until early summer. 

“The Board has invested extra time and money to secure a search firm with particular expertise in recruiting for HBCUs, and I believe it is important to listen to their advice,” said Woodley.  “The severity and the magnitude of the potential cuts are what make this situation different.  It is understandable that potential candidates need more certainty before compromising their current positions for an unknown future.  Not only do I understand this, but I would be concerned about applicants who did not ask for more certainty prior to releasing their names.”

The UL System’s presidential search process calls for all applications to go through the search firm.  Applicants do not become official candidates until the firm presents its recommended candidates to the committee.  This allows for a balance of consistent applicant screening and anonymity for potential top candidates.

The search consultants will be at Tuesday’s meeting to report on their work and walk through the challenges.  Following their report, the committee will discuss revising the timeline.  Woodley’s recommendation will include selecting semifinalists the week of May 25; on-campus interviews the week of June 15, and finalist interviews and selection by the Board on June 24 or 25, 2015.

WHAT: Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee Meeting

WHEN: *12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015
*or 30 minutes following adjournment of the Board of Supervisors meeting

WHERE: Louisiana Purchase Room 100, Claiborne Building, 1201 N. Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802



Voting members of the Grambling Presidential Search Committee include UL System Board Members Edward Crawford, III of Shreveport, Dr. Kelly Faircloth of Pineville, David Guidry of Natalbany, Board Chair E. Gerald “T-Boy” Hebert of Kenner, Student Member Adam Lefort of Thibodaux, Jimmy Long, Sr. of Natchitoches, Board Vice Chair Jimmie “Beau” Martin, Jr. of Cut Off, Shawn Murphy of Jonesboro, Mark Romero of Lafayette, and Winfred Sibille of Sunset.  Also serving as a voting member is Grambling Faculty Senate President Herbert Simmons.

Serving as advisory, non-voting members are Melissa Bickham, Howard Davis, Wilbert Ellis, Mildred Gallot, and SGA President Erik Johnson.  UL System President Sandra Woodley serves as the non-voting committee chair.

For more information about the Grambling Search, visit Questions and comments can be emailed to


ABOUT GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY: Founded in 1901 from the desire of African American farmers in rural northern Louisiana to educate African Americans in their region, Grambling State University is a SACS-COC accredited and Carnegie Classified Master’s level institution that enrolls approximately 5,000 students in 47 degree programs.  The university is nationally known for its legendary former football coach Eddie G. Robinson and the World Famed Tiger Marching Band.  Grambling State combines all the strengths of a major university with the personality of a small college, thereby allowing students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment that is indeed the place “Where Everybody is Somebody.”

ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling about 90,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of New Orleans.