NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “Let us work to make TSU the University of choice” was the charge Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover posed to faculty and staff during the university’s fall institute on Monday.
Hundreds of employees attended the annual event to get an update on year-long initiatives and plans for the upcoming academic year. Most importantly, they were reminded of the vital role they have in serving students and the university.
“We’re here for the purpose of educating our students,” President Glover said. “There must be a continued commitment to make a contribution each day, to make TSU better. Each year when I stand before you, I have great news on the progress we’re making, but there is more work to be done.”
Glover discussed the university’s new strategic plan that includes four goals: increase four-year graduation rates; ensure campus health and safety; improve customer service; and sustain/diversify revenue streams.
Called Impact 20/20, the plan also details the expansion of the campus’ physical footprint with the addition of two new academic buildings, Health Sciences and Engineering, along with two newly constructed residence halls to alleviate the growing need for housing.
Demetra Scruggs, a clinical supervisor in TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, said she was motivated by the plans the president outlined.
“TSU is a great school,” Scruggs said. “And the initiatives Dr. Glover talked about today will make it even better.”
The president also said the university aims to increase student enrollment at least 5 percent by 2020.
To make that happen, she said the university is looking at ways to raise more money for student scholarships and research, which is among its challenges.
Despite its challenges, Glover said TSU has done an excellent job preparing students for the workforce, an accomplishment she hopes to build upon even more with new funding.
Recently, the university received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund to provide TSU with the tools to prepare and ultimately help students secure employment immediately following graduation.
Other accolades included a recent ranking that showed TSU graduates average $48,100 in starting salaries.
EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, ranked TSU No. 6 out of the nation’s top 30 historically black colleges for highest starting salaries for graduates.
“When students see that they will graduate from this institution with a great projected salary, it makes the decision to attend TSU the obvious choice,” said Charles Jennings, Jr., director of the TSU Career Development Center.
Employees also heard from Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate Chair Linda Goodman, all of whom told faculty and staff they play a vital role in the success of TSU.
The faculty staff institute is held in August and January prior to the beginning of each academic semester.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.