November 15, 2012

University Successfully Resolves Audit Issues

First ‘clean’ audit, no public findings in recent memory

Grambling, LA - Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue is pleased to report that the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office has given the university a clean, effective and efficient annual audit for the period ending June 30, 2012. It is the first time in recent memory that the 111-year-old university has not had any public findings with a state audit.

"The findings identified in our prior management letter relating to unlocated movable property and tax penalties and interest have been substantially resolved by management,” reads the report, issued November 7 and released on November 12. “We did not identify any new findings of weaknesses in internal controls or noncompliance with laws in the current year."

The required state audit evaluates the institution’s financial processes and fiscal accountability starting July 1, 2011. Though the university was facing some fiscal challenges when the president arrived in 2009, he pulled the key players together and promised the university community that things would change. Working with Vice President of Finance and Administration Leon Sanders, Pogue implemented several changes to enhance the university’s financial integrity.

The audit says no important noncompliance, discrepancies or problems were found in the school’s internal analytical and audit procedures. "We were just totally excited and pleased about the results of the audit," Pogue said. "We have worked hard as an entire university to achieve this status."

Pogue and Sanders worked with the university finance office and key administration leaders to put in place a fiscally responsible and responsive team, including Moroline Washington, director of grants administration; Johnnie Faye Williams, director of property and receiving; Eric Turner, payroll manager and Raymond Abraham, a controller with more than 25 years of experience in the state auditor’s office in Baton Rouge. In addition, university staff was trained on new fiscal policies and procedures for expense reporting, payroll management and moveable property. Previous audits found problems with moveable property, tax penalties and interest.

"What stands out for us all is that the auditors told us that this is the first time in anyone’s memory that there have been no public findings at our university,” said Pogue. “Everyone on our finance team, and at our university, should know how important it is that we take care of our business internally when it comes to using state funds. We won’t have public findings when we find, and resolve, things ourselves.” “It doesn’t stop here,” added Pogue. “We’ll keep doing what we’re doing to be responsible as we use state funds.”

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November 6, 2012

Grambling High School Day 2012 was a success

By Collin B. Jno-Finn and Ebony Myers
Grambling State University Media Bureau

With ear-deafening chants of GS-GS-Uuuu and several colorful display about the school’s academics, Grambling State University hosted its annual High School Day as host to nearly 2000 high school students from as far away as Tennessee.

The Saturday event is one of the university’s primary recruiting efforts, and it seemed to be working.  “I am really considering it and the whole tour is convincing me to attend GSU,” said Niambi Simbley, a high school senior whose mother graduated from Grambling.

High school senior Jakyra Williams travelled from Bastrop to take a look at Grambling, though he has been considering a much bigger university in Baton Rouge. “I was looking at LSU, but I don’t think I want to go,” said Williams, who plans to study nursing. “I have wanted to come to Grambling since I was little.”

Simbley and Williams said the information provided was valuable, and combining the academic and social aspects such as student organizations such as fraternities and sororities was helpful and made things interesting. A deejay spun some of the latest, youthful tunes, bringing students to their feet, dancing, singing along and enjoying fashion modeling as well as Greek stepping moves at the Hodby Assembly Center.

“We showcase what Grambling State University has to offer, both from the academic affairs as well as student life,” said Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Walton said though she does not have statistics about how many Grambling State students choose her institution as a result of High School Day events, several high schoolers continue to show a great interest in the university after attending the event and some past participants are students now.

The students’ day started about 7 a.m. and continued through the Grambling State-Jackson State University football game. Registered students were treated to black and gold Grambling teeshirts, boom sticks and plenty of information about career and degree choices.

While some students were scouting GSU, others decided before visiting that Grambling State was their university of choice.  West Monroe High School student Ian Robinson said he knows he’s going to Grambling so his focus was on learning more about the computer information sciences program. “I plan on attending GSU because I have always wanted to attend an HBCU and I have family — at least five family members, including a grandmother — who have attended Grambling State University,” said Robinson, who added that it is easy to get around the campus.

Shellie McIntyre brought 26 high schoolers with her from a Talent Search program in Magnolia, Ark. She said the program works with students who have GPAs of 2.5 or above to motivate them to attend college, so the event is a good opportunity.  “We work with low income students … and so a lot of them find it difficult to travel far off to attend an university, so GSU is an ideal university,” she said.

Several student organizations and groups worked to showcase the best of GSU. Dexter Tardy, president of the university’s Favrot Student Union Board, said his group work diligently to ensure that all tours and other hospitality aspects were thoroughly planned and executed. “This year’s High School Day is a success,” he declared. “Students came out early and that’s a plus, and High School Day as a whole is always a great way to recruit.”

Albert Tezeno, associate vice president for enrollment management and director of financial aid, said High School Day is an opportunity to promote early application.  “We are pushing early awareness to apply for financial aid, and for parents to go ahead and file their taxes because the sooner the better” for college financial aid options, he said.  Tezeno said students were provided information about how much it costs to attend as well as funding options.

Grambling Vice President for Student Affairs Stacey Duhon said last year’s High School Day attracted about 1,00 students and this year’s event brought more than 1,500 participants and some same-day registrations may push that number closer to 2,000. She said Grambling State is working to increase the number of high school visitors in part by finding sponsors to reduce the cost of registration, $35 per person.

Several fraternities and sororities participated. “I am glad we were extended the invitation to come out and spread awareness of our sorority,” said Cietra Stroughter, secretary of the university’s Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority chapter. “It gives students the chance to see other aspects of the college life.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fratnerity, Alpha Kappa Alphas Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Delta Sigma Theta also participated. Valencia Chaffold, president of the Delta chapter on campus, said
Greek participation allows the fraternities and sororities like hers to meet possible members before they attend college while helping “spread the awareness of academic excellence.”


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Will Sutton



GSU Professor inducted into Criminal Justice Wall of Fame

By Collin B. Jno-Finn
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Dr. Singh, Professor - GSU Department of Criminal Justice Mahendra Singh wants teachers to instruct their students without favoritism and prejudice.

“Teach each and every student with respect, love and maximum ability, irrespective of students’ skills, to make them aspire to highest goal in their life,” Singh appealed to his fellow professors at Grambling State University and other higher education institutions.

The professor, who has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Grambling since 1984, was recently inducted into the School of Criminal Justice Wall of Fame at Michigan State University, where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees. He was one of five inductees at the early October event event in East Lansing, Mich.

According to the school, the wall recognizes a few alumni “who have distinguished themselves by attaining the highest level of professional accomplishment while demonstrating strong personal integrity and character.”

Singh recalls being overwhelmed when was notified about the award.  “I had never predicted such as honor would be bestowed on me since the sponsoring professor had passed away prior to the final decision being made,” the honoree said.

Rama Tunuguntla, the dean of the university’s College of Professional Studies, said he and the university are proud of Singh.  “It is a matter of pride and honor that one of our colleagues has been recognized by his alma mater for his distinguished service to criminal justice education,” he said. “As head of one of the largest academic units on the campus, Dr. Singh is highly committed to helping and promoting his students both academically and professionally.”

Hundred of students have passed through the GSU’s criminal justice program and Singh continually admonishes students to take their education seriously. According to Singh, their school years are a time to learn and acquire academic and professional knowledge and skills. “(N)ever ignore the enormous potential of student life as not too many people in the world get the opportunity to go to college and develop full potential to bloom in life,” the professor said.

Singh has shared his knowledge beyond Grambling State with others through the U.S. Department of State professional development courses about crime control, international terrorism, juvenile delinquency and comparative criminal justice systems. 

He credits his late professor, Vince Hoffman, the former director of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State, for his achievements.

Singh also holds a law degree from Delhi University in India and served in the India Metropolitan Police of Delhi for about eighteen years.  Despite all his achievements and the recent recognition, Singh said he will continue to pursue excellence at Grambling.

“I want the Department of Criminal Justice to have the caliber that is unmatched anywhere, so that it will be recognized for its academics, research, and professionalism and Community service all around,” said Singh. “Grambling State University is a great institution and I am very proud to have served so long and will continue to serve to the best of my ability. I have never settled for mediocrity nor should anyone.”

Dr. Singh accepts award for School of Criminal Justice Wall of Fame at Michigan State University


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