NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover on Monday lauded faculty and staff for their service, and assured them the institution is poised to accomplish great feats for 2020, and beyond.
Dr. Glover spoke at the spring Faculty and Staff Institute, a customary State of the University address held to commence the start of each academic school year. Her address commended employees, and touted fiscal strength and student success.
In thanking employees for their hard work, she pledged her continued support, and encouraged them to strive to make the university better.
“I’m here for you,” said Glover. “I just ask that you show up every day and do your best.”
She reminded them that includes doing all they can to help students succeed.
Glover noted that from 2018 to 2019, the GPA of incoming freshmen increased from 3.10 to 3.14. The university also implemented a targeted recruitment plan for high school students with a 3.0 or better to improve retention and graduation rates. Students’ GPA has steadily risen since TSU increased admission standards in 2016. All students must now have a 2.5 GPA and a 19 on the ACT for admission. The previous admission scores were 2.25 or a 19 on the ACT for in-state students, and a 2.5 or 19 ACT for out-of-state students.
The president also stressed the university’s fiscal soundness and plans to continue the trend. She discussed an endowment increase of $19.3 million over a five-year period, and a net increase of $15.7 million for reserve and endowment funds during the same time span.
Over the next 10 years, in what she called TSU’s Decade of Excellence, Glover said she envisions an endowment of $150 million and $100 million in reserves. She would also like to see TSU be the top HBCU in the nation, with an enrollment of 12,000.
The president also talked about TSU’s sanction by its accrediting body and gave a detailed update on the “plan of action” to address the issue. She emphasized to the several hundred in attendance that it is important to dispel any misconceptions and that TSU never lost accreditation.
Corrective steps taken so far under the plan include the university retaining a nationally known firm with expertise on accreditation matters and hiring a full-time director of assessment and accreditation to guide the process internally.
“We are 100 percent confident that TSU will do all that is required to prepare and submit the documentation that is necessary to remove us from probation,” said Glover. “Everyone is working together to get this done.”
TSU’s landscape will change over the next few months when construction of the new health sciences building is complete. The president shared the latest information on that, as well as planned construction of two new residence halls. Groundbreakings were held for the three buildings, along with a welcome center, during homecoming last year.
Glover also touted a major accomplishment for TSU in 2019 that is carrying over to the New Year: its coding partnership with tech giant Apple, Inc., which is drawing global attention.
In July, TSU launched HBCU C2 “Everyone Can Code and Create,” which seeks to bring coding experiences to historically black colleges and universities and underserved communities. The initiative is part of TSU’s newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations, created through the HBCU C2 Presidential Academy.
The undertaking to bridge the technology divide has not gone unnoticed. President Glover told the audience that the university and Apple’s corporate office have received several inquiries about the program.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is among the initiative’s champions.
“Anything is possible when people come together with a shared vision,” Cook tweeted. “Thank you to @TSUedu for your leadership and enthusiasm in bringing coding to your community and HBCUs nationwide!”
The institute marks the beginning of the academic semester. Students return on Jan. 13.
For more information about TSU’s coding initiative, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.
Department of Media Relations
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About Tennessee State UniversityFounded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.