NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From new programs intended to improve recruitment, retention and graduation, to enhancements in campus safety and emergency management, Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover today told faculty and staff that the University was making tremendous progress.
University outreach and visibility through positive news media, and alumni, corporate and individual giving were also very encouraging, while the University’s endowment has seen a remarkable growth, the President said at the fall faculty/staff conference on the main campus to welcome faculty and staff for the opening of the new school year.
While the announcement of all of these achievements received thunderous applauses, the biggest buzz was around the University’s new Book Bundle Initiative, a digital cutting-edge program aimed at lowering the cost of traditional textbooks.
The plan will allow freshman and sophomore students to buy “e-books” (downloaded on a tablet) for general education classes, saving students up to $735 per semester.
According to the President, a large number of students enrolled in classes do not purchase text books due to lack of funds, delay in receiving funds, or simply hold back on buying them for weeks.
“Many of our students would go weeks before even purchasing a text book, which in turn hurts them in the classroom,” the President said. “This new program allows students to have books the first day of class and gives them the ability to be successful since they will have the required materials.”
“Take 15,” an initiative that encourages students to take at least 15 credits each semester to graduate in four years, as well as “3+1 Program,” a dual (college/high school) enrollment program, are among other efforts the University is promoting to improve retention and graduation, Dr. Glover said.
Although “Take 15,” launched in 2013, has seen an increase of students opting to take 15 or more hours to stay on course, it will take a while to gather enough data to gauge its success, the President added.
Dr. Glover also announced a TSU Community College Initiative aimed at creating a seamless transition of two-year degree holders to TSU, in the face of the new Tennessee Promise, Gov. Hasslam’s education initiative that offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high-school graduates beginning with the Class of 2015.
Through its newly launched initiative, Dr. Glover announced, TSU is reaching out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships through “2+2” or dual enrollment efforts.
In other areas that also drew cheers from faculty and staff, the President disclosed that the University has raised more than $9.5 million in giving to the University since she arrived on campus about 18 months ago.
“Our corporate partners, community stakeholders, alumni, faculty, staff and individuals have been very generous and supportive of our plea for support,” said Dr. Glover, who presented a check for $50,000 to her alma mater as her “first order of business” when she became president in 2012, challenging other alumni to follow suit.
“Our alumni alone have contributed more than $1.4 million, and many chapters have met or exceeded that match. We recognize that our alumni are the life of the institution and they have demonstrated their commitment to TSU by their giving and support of our programs,” the President added.
On communications and public relations, the president touted a
reinvigorated media and public awareness campaign that has generated a more upbeat and positive image of the University. She pointed to more public engagement efforts such as the President’s Quarterly Media Brown Bag, that invites media professionals on campus to engage officials and staff on developments, and a litany of other endeavors that let the public know of “the good things that are happening at TSU.”
“We have billboards in strategic areas of town, including one in Memphis that tell of the quality of our education and our diverse offerings,” the President said.
She added that these are all part of a new public relations campaign that the University will soon officially kick off.
During a question and answer, where Dr. Glover and other administrators addressed faculty and staff concerns, the President reiterated her commitment to an open administration, where everyone has a voice.
“I applaud your support and contribution, and as we promised before, we will serve with fundamental fairness and openness. We will continue to seek your support and views in making decisions that move us ahead,” Dr. Glover said.
Following the President’s presentation, she invited administrators, faculty and staff to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated student dining facility in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center.
Department of Media Relations
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About Tennessee State University
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.