Morgan State University Chief of Staff Dr. Willie Larkin has been named the next president of Grambling State University.
The two-time graduate of Tuskegee University (with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1973 and Master of Education in 1974) and an alum of The Ohio State University (Ph.D. in 1980), Larkin has been at Morgan State since 2010.
In a 2006 resume summary, Larkin called himself “an achievement-oriented administrator who thinks outside of the box” and said he is “able to effectively communicate broad/specific goals and objectives, devise a strategy course of action and obtain buy-in from the internal university family and the external stakeholders as well” and “combine the rare abilities to vision, sell ideas, lead by example, develop short and long-term strategy, train and educate, persuade—motivate—and inspire people to take action.”
Coming into a situation at Grambling State University that has faced turmoil in leadership, a contentious political climate in the state and, like many HBCUs, declining enrollment numbers, Larkin’s self-described skillset will be critical for success in the environment.
Grambling recently applied for, and was granted, land-grant status; Larkin’s bachelor’s and Ph.D. are both in agricultural education, which could benefit the university as it seeks to navigate its new status—and secure and appropriate the accompanying funding.