NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover urged faculty and staff to stay focused on helping students succeed amid university challenges.
Glover, now in her third year at TSU, on Monday addressed the Faculty and Staff Institute for the spring 2016 semester. She noted some of the challenges the university is facing, but said they shouldn’t distract from the university’s main objective, which is to improve retention and graduation rates.
“We’re here for the purpose of educating our students, and enhancing their well-being,” she said. “That’s our one fundamental overriding goal.”
She said steps being taken to help in that endeavor include the formation of a completion committee that will meet twice a month, and requiring teachers to have an assessment measure in place to evaluate students two weeks into the year so that those who are struggling can get assistance.
“By the time it gets to mid-terms, it’s too late,” Glover said. “If we catch students early enough, we can put them in tutoring.”
The president’s speech also highlighted some of the university’s successes, such as the Tennessee Board of Regents’ approval to build a $39 million Health Sciences Building, and the record amount of money it received last year for research grants.
Last year, the university set a goal to get $50 million in grants and received $51 million. This year the goal is $60 million.
“Research grants are very important to the university because they allow faculty members to work on quality solutions that help to meet needs in our country, and give students an opportunity to get engaged in cutting edge ideas,” Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, associate vice president and chief research officer, said after the president’s speech.
During her speech, Glover also discussed university challenges. She said one task is getting money to adequately fund security upgrades, and another is a proposed governance plan that could adversely affect the university.
Nevertheless, Glover said she’s optimistic about TSU’s future.
“We will fight through our difficulties,” she said. “We will roll up our sleeves and persevere.”
Glover told faculty and staff they can help in the fight by being “ambassadors” for the university, and promoting the positive things TSU is doing. She urged deans and faculty to make the university’s public relations department aware of what’s going on in their departments.
“It takes all of us working together, fighting together, as a unit,” Glover said. “It takes all of us.”
The Faculty and Staff Institute is a bi-annual event that convenes university employees prior to each academic semester. Following her speech, Glover took questions from faculty and staff, and later met with faculty during a planning session.