Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee to Meet Oct. 23

Revised Tentative Timeline and Search Firm Discussions on Agenda

BATON ROUGE – The committee charged with selecting a new Grambling State University president will meet in Baton Rouge at 3:45 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, to discuss the revised tentative timeline, advertisement schedule, and search firm.  The original goal to name a new president in October will be extended into Spring 2015 in order to comply with the state’s Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

WHAT: Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee Meeting

WHEN: 3:45 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

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

The new proposed timeline under consideration will include a February preferred application date, semi-finalist interviews in March, and finalist interviews and selection in April 2015.

“From the start we discussed the need to seek out a firm with particular experience in HBCU searches because this kind of experience should provide the highest quality pool of potential candidates,” said University of Louisiana System President Sandra K. Woodley.  “It will be worth the extra time it takes to find the best possible fit for Grambling at this crucial point in its history.”

Following the May 8, 2014, inaugural meeting and public hearing of the Grambling Presidential Search Committee, UL System staff immediately initiated an RFP process to select a search firm.  Proposals were submitted, reviewed and scored in July; a contract was negotiated in August; and the contract is pending final approval from the state’s Office of Contractual Review.

While waiting to secure a search firm, Woodley and UL System Executive Vice President and Provost Karla Hughes traveled to several states to meet with Grambling’s extensive out-of-state alumni groups for open dialogue about the search.  Due to its national reputation, historic mission and legacy culture, Grambling enrolls a significant number of students from outside of Louisiana and maintains robust, active alumni chapters in many states.  Although it was not possible to meet with every group, to date they have visited Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, and Houston.  They also attended the Grambling National Alumni Association’s annual meeting in Shreveport. A November meeting is also scheduled for Los Angeles.

“These discussions with Grambling’s core supporters have been invaluable to me in this process.  I have learned so much from the dialogue and am grateful to experience firsthand the positive energy for Grambling from all across the nation.  I wish I could bottle the passion and pride that pours from the alumni members I have been privileged to meet,” said Woodley.  “Every conversation, email, and phone call reinforces the need for us to take the time necessary to get this right.”

Voting members of the Grambling Presidential Search Committee include UL System Board Members Andre Coudrain of Hammond, Edward Crawford, III of Shreveport, 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, D. Wayne Parker of Choudrant, 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 Grambling National Alumni Association President Melissa Bickham, community representative Wilbert Ellis, community representative Mildred Gallot, and SGA President Erik Johnson.  UL System President Sandra Woodley will serve 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 black children 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.