Report: Grambling State University Must Reduce Spending

GRAMBLING, La. — A  new report has recommended Grambling State University reduce its spending on state audits, athletics and laboratory schools in the face of ongoing budget cuts.

The recently released financial status review report was commissioned by GSU President Frank Pogue after an unfavorable state audit, according to The News Star of Monroe, La.

The suggested spending reductions are just a few of those recommended by McDemmond and Associates, a consulting firm led by Marie McDemmond, the former president of Norfolk State University.

A state audit released in June showed that in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009, GSU violated two state laws and at one point lost more than $1 million on illegally purchased stock.

The new report recommended the university adopt corrective actions, including replacing certain financial and administrative personnel and hire others with adequate experience.

Pogue has already acted on several of the recommendations, including replacing former vice president of finance Daarel Burnette and moving to hire a financial comptroller and directors of grants and budgets.

But action on some of the more overarching recommendations in the report will take more time, interim vice president of finance Leon Sanders said in a statement released by the university.

“It is important to note that policy evaluation, development and implementation are time-intensive tasks, and many of the necessary changes will take time,” Sanders said.

The university’s statement didn’t address the report’s suggestions that GSU reduce its spending on state audits, athletics and its laboratory schools.

Because of previous problems, the school had asked the state for full audits each year. But such annual reviews aren’t legally required, and the school could reduce its expenses if it underwent fewer of them, said Tom Cole, director of financial audit services for the Legislative Auditor’s Office.