Multiple sources within and around the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors have confirmed that Grambling State University President Willie Larkin will either resign or be fired this week.
Dr. Larkin, who was appointed as GSU president last July, drew controversy last week after details about a trip to Cuba were confirmed by staff members to be a vacation for the first-time president, and not an academic outreach trip as he initially promoted to the campus and local media outlets. The trip coincided with the release of the university’s strategic plan.
In February, Grambling’s Faculty Senate voted ‘no confidence’ in Dr. Larkin, citing a vague administrative response to pressing issues such as falling enrollment, fundraising, and the loss of the school’s nursing program. Shortly after the faculty vote, Dr. Larkin penned a letter to the campus community, in which he referred to himself as the university’s ‘healer.’
In that same letter, Larkin announced the reinstatement of the school’s national search for a new athletic director, just days after discontinuing the search in light of budgetary concerns.
Dr. Larkin previously served as chief of staff for Morgan State University President David Wilson, and was on staff when university regents voted to fire Wilson in 2012 three years after his appointment for a string of controversies and general mismanagement at the school.
Regents reversed the decision a few weeks later, and voted to retain Wilson on an ‘indefinite appointment’ agreement instead of a multi-year contract.
Officials at Grambling and the University of Louisiana System did not return calls. No formal announcement about the transition, or a potential interim appointee, have been announced.
Grambling is the system’s sole historically black university.