Monthly Archives: January 2016

Grambling State University Faces $2.5 Million State Mid-Year Budget Cut


GSU Signature/Letterhead
Office of the President

To: Faculty, Staff and Students

From: Willie D. Larkin, Ph.D.


Date: January 28, 2016

These are perilous economic times in the State of Louisiana. This communiqué is to inform you that the Governor recently announced a mid-year budget reduction of $262 million to all state agencies. Higher education’s portion of that reduction is $131 million. This translates to a $2,509,045 reduction for Grambling State University.

Although the University remains in a stable condition financially, this latest spending cut will be burdensome because it must be implemented for the remaining six months of the fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2016. Unfortunately, we will not have the flexibility to spread the reductions over a full year. I have established a Budget and Priorities Committee to develop criteria for budgetary decision-making, including this current reduction. This committee will review previous reductions, current spending levels, priorities and needed plans to protect the core missions of our institution.

I ask for your support and patience during these budget reductions, and I promise to keep you apprised of actions taken. I also encourage you to share any creative cost-saving suggestions you may have via e-mail at

Thank you for your cooperation, and please know that this is not a plan the University looks forward to executing, but one that is necessary given the uncertainty of new revenue. Stay tuned for additional information–to include university-wide conversations.

Click here for PDF:
GSU Mid-Year Budget Cut Letter from Dr. Larkin

P.O. Box 607.403 Main Street • Grambling, LA 71245 • Office: (318) 274-6117 • Fax: (318) 274-6172 •
A Constituent Member of the University of Louisiana System • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
An Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator • Facilities Accessible to the Disabled

RECRUITMENT: The Cornerstone of Grambling’s Successful Recovery


By Willie D. Larkin, Ph.D.,

Student recruitment is crucial to the survival of today’s public and private colleges and universities, and Grambling State University is no exception. To secure Grambling’s continued success as an iconic Historically Black College and University (HBCU) for our future sons and daughters, we need to reach a recruitment goal of 5,500 students on campus for the 2016-2017 academic year.

This cannot be done via our Admissions Office alone. Everyone at Grambling needs to be a part of this effort, so we are asking for your help.

George C. Dehne wrote an article in 1995 entitled “Reinventing Student Recruitment.” Though technology has come a long way since then and a few admissions practices have changed, Dehne’s basic recruiting principles still hold true. Please note that Dehne does not include a financial aid discussion in his article, as he believes it is such an important factor in student recruitment that it deserves a whole separate article.

A Key Distinction—Dehne says that we should not confuse admissions and recruitment, stating “Admissions is the process of choosing a class from among your applicants. Recruitment is the planning and work it takes to get serious candidates to apply. Not all aspects of an effective student-recruitment effort fall on the shoulders of the Admissions Office. All departments, offices, and committees should know that their decisions and behavior can affect student recruitment. Such factors as how a telephone is answered or the decision to drop or add a course offering may influence a student’s decision to attend.”

A Mobilized Campus—It is the responsibility of everyone at Grambling to recruit students. Faculty, if the Admissions Office has a student interested in your program, always be available to talk with the prospective student. Staff, we are here because of the students, so please show them you care, even if it is something as simple as a smile and an offer of help. Grambling students, please volunteer to be an ambassador for your school to show prospective students around and answer their questions from a real perspective.

The Only Contacts That Count—are those prospective student-initiated contacts. (I.e. returning inquiry—online or paper, asking for more information, submitting an application, any family or friend expressing interest in attending Grambling, etc.). Creating ways to continue the dialogue with these prospective Grambling students should be a top priority.

Knowledge is Power—The more you know about a student’s academic and extracurricular interests and abilities, the more likely you are to convert the student to an applicant and enrollee. This data also provides opportunities for continued dialogue, particularly if he or she requests more information on a specific program offered at Grambling.

Personalization Plus—Know your college. Know what Grambling has to offer. Get involved in knowing areas about Grambling other than your own niche. Be proud of our school, its rich heritage, and what it can offer to prospective students. Send them specific information, a hand-written note, an email; take the time and effort to really give some extra personal attention to reap the rewards.

I have only just touched on a few basic principles that clearly demonstrate how everyone at Grambling can be, should be and is involved in the recruitment process. I implore you to do your part and help us reach our 2016 recruitment goal of 5,500 students on campus, so Grambling will continue to educate and impact the lives of many well into the future.

Let’s all work hard to be a part of its success. I also encourage you to read Dehne’s article at

2016 “Year of the Family”


Willie D. Larkin, Ph.D.

To the Gramfam and ALL who embrace our love for teaching and learning, and our deep and profound love for Grambling,

Please join me in ushering in a New Year!

On behalf of your administration, Happy 2016! Professionally, 2016 serves as the pinnacle of my career – serving as your servant leader to this venerable institution, this testament to times long past, and times yet to be seen.

2016 is an exciting time! Welcome back to ALL and welcome to the “Year of the Family” – Grambling’s Family! The Gramfam!

As this New Year begins, I have sat quietly while deeply reflecting on Grambling’s rich and illustrious history. My skin quivers as I juxtapose Grambling’s past to its future potential, its brighter tomorrow.

To paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton, who stated over 340 years ago, he was only able to see further because he stood on the shoulders of giants. As the 9th President of Grambling, I can now truly appreciate his meaning. Now, I can only see due to the blood, sweat, and tears of Grambling’s founding fathers and mothers and their relentless and selflessness in building a university of prestige, dignity, and glory which we ALL enjoy today – including the State of Louisiana and the entire nation.

I humbly invite each of you, my Gramfam, to truly be part of the family. We are Grambling… We are Family.  This is the “Year of the Family.”

Families work together. Families cultivate the soil. Families share in the learning. Families share in the teaching. Families live an unspoken pledge of loyalty to their family, through their actions and deeds.

Families embrace new days with glee, cheerfulness, and a positive attitude. Families see tomorrow as a brighter day.

Join me in embracing a new day of prosperity for our number one priority for 2016—Grambling State University!

Stay tuned for my quarterly updates on Grambling’s major successes and accomplishments (March, June, September, and December).

Today starts a new tradition. Each year, my presidency, and future presidencies I hope, will start each year with a “Year of _________________” 2016 is the “Year of the Family!”