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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grambling president calling it quits

Grambling State University president, Horace A. Judson, announced his decision to step down effective Oct. 31. Judson served in the position for five years, and cited family reasons.

“The extraordinary progress that has been achieved in every facet at GSU over the past five years has been validated. I believe that this is a good juncture for me to complete my tenure and focus on my family,” said Judson. “I am proud of all that has been accomplished, and I consider it a privilege to have served as President of GSU.”

“Dr. Judson’s presidency came at a pivotal time in Grambling’s history, and we are grateful for his innovative leadership that will leave many lasting positive changes,” said UL System Board Chair Elsie Burkhalter.

Hired in 2004, Judson’s five-year tenure at Grambling saw many successes including stabilizing enrollment, early introduction of admissions standards, higher ACT scores of incoming freshmen, the creation of Grambling’s Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science and Technology, leadership in the area of service-learning and tremendous upgrades to campus facilities.

Judson who has been under fire since taking the top job at the Louisiana school. His retirement followed Grambling State's Faculty Senat no-confidence vote.

Basically, it’s déjà vu all over again. Judson's tenure followed a similar fate at Plattsburgh State University in Pennsylvania.

Judson resigned as president of PSU in late 2003 following criticisms from students and faculty that he was ignoring their input, isolating himself from the college and community and making poor choices in hirings and firings.

Students and faculty hit him with no-confidence votes before he left his post at Plattsburgh State.

Judson assumed the presidency at Grambling in July 2004 and has been at the center of controversy since.

Constitutionally charged with hiring university presidents, the UL System Board discussed next steps at its Oct. 23 meeting.
Situated on a 383-acre campus in the small town of Grambling, the historically black university has almost 5,000 students.

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