BATON ROUGE – The tentative timeline for Grambling State University’s Presidential Search must be reworked, according to Search Chair and University of Louisiana System President Sandra K. Woodley. The original goal to name a new president in October will be extended into Spring 2015.
“During the May committee meeting, we indicated that the search timeline would likely be delayed if we chose to go through the state’s rigorous Request for Proposals (RFP) process to secure a search firm with HBCU experience,” said Woodley. “We did decide to seek a firm with HBCU experience, and thus the process is underway. However, it will likely take a few more months to get final approval to move forward with a search firm. To ensure a careful and exhaustive search for Grambling State’s next president, I will recommend a new timeline to the committee.”
The new proposed timeline will include an October committee meeting, a February preferred application date, semi-finalist interviews in March, and finalist interviews and selection in April.
“We continue to move the process forward as quickly as possible given our extra diligence to get the most qualified search firm, and we are on track to ensure a comprehensive search for the new leadership. My staff has been carefully reviewing search firms per the RFP and working on the process to get to a contract as soon as possible. We are also fortunate to have Grambling Interim President Cynthia Warrick onboard to address the many challenges facing the institution, and we are actively gathering input from various constituency groups to hear their thoughts and suggestions about Grambling’s future direction as well as desired characteristics of the next president,” said Woodley.
This summer, Woodley and UL System Executive Vice President and Provost Karla Hughes traveled across the country 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 amount 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, Detroit, and Houston. They also attended the Grambling National Alumni Association’s annual meeting in Shreveport. Meetings are scheduled for Dallas and tentatively 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, 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, 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.
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.