Grambling Faculty Senate Votes ‘No Confidence’ in President Willie Larkin

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 6.51.48 PMMembers of Grambling State University’s Faculty Senate have voted no-confidence in president Willie Larkin, the latest headline in a growing narrative of strapped finances and few answers amid Louisiana’s looming budget crisis.

According to documents obtained by the HBCU Digest, 10 senate members voted non-confidence in Larkin, who was appointed last June. Seven faculty members voted against the no-confidence vote, and one member abstained.

The vote caps what senate members described as months of non-response and ineffective leadership from Larkin, who declared financial exigency of the school’s nursing program in August, the suspension of its national search for an athletic director this week, and a community town hall meeting during which a student questioned his allegiance to the university.

In a five-page letter to faculty, Senate President Herbert Simmons Jr. offers details and insight into the lack of engagement with professors, and the perceived peril for the university’s future under Larkin’s leadership.

“Grambling’s current administration appears to be groping in the dark and tinkering with small expedients. With deep regrets and to this date we have yet to receive any clear indication or any decisive plans of action informing us as to where the administration is taking the university and how it intends to solve or address the looming financial dilemmas. We have informed the administration of our concerns for developing plans for addressing many of the university’s unmet needs, especially in the areas of supporting campus programs, faculty and non-teaching staff.”

“We have yet to receive any plausible information regarding resource development, physical plant upgrades, and an overall visionary approach and plan of action for the university. We have received no response concerning plans to provide a scholarly approach to examining and developing new and needed academic program offerings, efforts to address the deficiency in student financial aid, a genuine discussion of shared governance, the need for specialized programs to enhance the effectiveness of training and the quality of learning; commercial ventures and activities that could transform Grambling into a more effective, less stressed and financially burdened public service agency.”

Officials have not yet made a statement on the vote.

10 comments
  1. Seriously??!! The faculty members really believe this guy is supposed to have a plan 9 months into that mess down there?! Grambling is one of many broke and broken black schools. It will take time for these faculty — most of whom led to the problems — to figure this out with all their doctorate degrees. SMH

    1. @AngryBlackMan2012:disqus Well stated! The problems did not happen over a 9 month period and it will take time to come up with a long term strategic solution to ensure the growth and success of this university.

    2. In talking with some of the members of the faculty senate, the problem is not personal; it appears to be that they lack faith in his ability to create a vision for responding to the political, economic realties in the state. They acknowledge all of what ills GSU took place before his arrival, but also are worried that he’s not the one to lead them out of it.

      1. I know many of the faculty were involved in the search process. If they voted to hire someone who didn’t articulate his vision 9 months ago — too damn bad. They kill me claiming he has no vision — hell, why did they hire him?

  2. The President needs to reduce the budget by 2.51 million negotiate down as far as you can say to 2.0 million reoccurring merge programs,schools, academic departments and administrative departments, layoff some VP’s, return some deans to the faculty and layoff staff to balance your budget. It may be a tragic outcome for some faculty staff and excutives but the institution which is GSU will survive.

    It is unlikely that a new president has had time to build the type of political clout necessary to grow the budget particularly against cuts described by Jindal. Does the faculty senate have the political muscle to reduce this trend? What about the local politicians ? If I were Larkin I would cast a vote of no confidence in them.

    1. Just in case you didn’t realize the new round of cuts came from the DEMOCRAT Governor — not Jindal. Good ole John Bel Edwards made these cuts that he PROMISED wouldn’t be done under his watch. Can’t trust any of these bastards.

  3. Where’s the search committee that selected him as president? That vetting process is supposed to be tedious and members should be confident about their select leader achieving their goals. Babies are even born after 10 months = 40 weeks. This vote may be the fire everyone needs to do their due diligence!

  4. Yeah the financial problems at GSU are not his fault. Its more the state of LA lack of funding for decades.

  5. According to the government’s website on colleges, the median salary for students ten years after entering Grambling is $28,000, only 40% earn more than what a high school graduate earns, 31% graduate within 6 years and 75% score below 20 on the ACT. This means they don’t qualify for Louisiana’s scholarship for resident students.

    With sober statistics such as these and a political environment that is hostile towards blacks it’s really unfair to blame this guy. I dare say Grambling’s end days maybe fast approaching.

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