June 9, 2011

Statement from President Pogue Regarding GSU’s Financial Audit


Upon my arrival at Grambling State University in November 2009, I began assessing the institution and establishing priorities. After meeting with a number of representatives from the various constituent groups and hosting a retreat, ten priorities were established. One of the top priorities was to improve the financial and operational management of the university. Towards this end, Dr. Marie McDemmond of McDemmond and Associates was invited to conduct a review of the operations of the Division of Finance. Based on her recommendations and my observations, a number of measures have been implemented to improve the financial and operational management of the University.

On June 1, 2011, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor released the 2009-2010 audit for Grambling State University. This audit covers the months from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, a period that began 5 months prior to my arrival at the university. Essentially, many of the findings were observations that Dr. McDemmond and I recognized as potential risks to the institution. With this understanding, the administration immediately focused on how to eradicate the potential threats to the financial stability of the university.

In order to provide stability and accountability to the Division of Finance, the Vice President for Finance and Administration position was filled with an interim appointment immediately after it was vacated in July 2010. Plans were implemented to reorganize the Division of Finance based on previous audit recommendations and findings outlined in the McDemmond Report. Also, a corrective action plan was put in place to address potential risks that had been identified. In October 2010, an individual who has over 25 years experience as a state auditor was hired to serve as Controller for the university and provide oversight of the corrective action plan. In April 2011, the permanent Vice President for Finance and Administration was selected and restructuring of the Division of Finance was completed. We are still reviewing procedures and processes to implement corrective actions.

It took many years to get into some of the irregularities the university is experiencing and, as to be expected, it will take more than one or two years to turn things around. As I see it, we are making very good progress. Our annual university-wide planning retreat, scheduled for July 14, 2011, will allow us to review our progress and plan for the future.

This being said, while to some it may appear that auditors are adversaries, this administration embraces audits and views auditors as allies who identify potential risks to the university so that corrective action(s) can take place. Essentially, both the McDemmond Report and the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Report have done just that. Now the leadership of this university, with your concerted help, will continue to identify and eradicate risks to our financial security as we have been doing for the past several months.

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