Timeline set for GSU presidential search

Pictured from left to right are current GSU President Rick Gallot, ULS President Jim Henderson, and ULS Board Chair Liz Pierre during Friday’s meeting.


During a University of Louisiana System meeting inside the auditorium of GSU’s Betty Smith nursing building on Friday, the Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee voted to accept their charge and approve the search timeline and search advertisement during today’s inaugural search committee meeting. 

Current GSU President Rick Gallot was named president of the University of Louisiana System on Oct. 25 during a meeting in which it was indicated that Gallot’s successor might be selected as soon as Jan. 1, the day Gallot assumes the role of ULS president as current President Dr. Jim Henderson moves on to become president of Louisiana Tech University.

The approved timeline below is subject to change at the committee’s discretion:

• Jan. 12 – Preferred date for applications
• Jan. 17 – Committee receives list of candidates
• Jan. 22 – Committee meets in Baton Rouge to review applicant materials and select semifinalists
• Feb. 5 – On-campus interviews occur this week and finalists selected
• Feb. 21/22 – Finalists presented to full Board of Supervisors and president selected

Information regarding the search including the position’s advertisement will be housed on the System’s website at ulsystem.edu/gramblingsearch. 

Gallot said that for Grambling State’s next president, academic credentials are essential, experience is necessary and intelligence is important.

“Creativity, ingenuity, vision and passion are vital,” Gallot said. “Our next leader must love our students, our faculty, staff, alums and other stakeholders, even when they aren’t being very loveable. 

“Our next leader must be able to answer three very important questions when making decisions. First, is it good for the students? Second, is it good for the university? And lastly, is it sustainable? This is not a popularity contest nor prize for the well-connected. At the end of this process we should all get behind the best fit and the one who is best prepared to serve our students, faculty and staff on Day One.”

Gallot said that he feels whoever is selected as his replacement as GSU president will be positioned for success as soon as taking office.

“I may be a bit biased, but I believe the 11th president will have the best and brightest student population of any institution anywhere,” Gallot said. “Our faculty and staff are paragons of talent and dedication within higher education. With increased enrollment, retention rates and the strongest financial position in our 122-year history, Grambling State is experiencing what Dr. Henderson has often described as a renaissance. 

“While transitions and organizational changes are never without challenges, our university is exceptionally positioned not only to sustain our current trajectory, but in my firm belief to witness its most illustrious days ahead.”

During Friday’s meeting, Melody Ford, special assistant to GSU Provost Dr. Connie Walton, asked the search committee asked specifics about what will happen once Gallot takes over as ULS President on Jan. 1 and a new president for GSU is selected, which ULS officials say they hope will happen by mid February

“The board will select an interim president to serve until the new president takes over,” said Henderson, who later indicated an interim president will be named during the December ULS Board meeting.

Ford then asked if that interim president would be an in-house appointment.

“We’ll have that conversation with the (ULS) Board leadership,” Henderson said. “Of course our Board chair and key officers will play a role in that based on the recommendation of the system president, which is me. And so I’m already working with President Gallot to find the best possible person to put into that role.”