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TSU Faculty and Staff Fired Up and Ready to Embrace New Academic Year, Challenged to Strive for Greatness

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover welcomed faculty and staff back to the university on Monday, and challenged them to strive for “greatness.”

“This is an exciting time because the history of TSU is still being written,” Glover said at the Faculty-Staff Institute. “We’ve been called to greatness. We are building our TSU legacy.”

She said the university has some challenges, but that they can be overcome by working together.

“It takes all of us to make TSU work,” Glover said. “We are team TSU.”

Part of the president’s discussion was about enrollment, which she said has been affected by the state’s program that offers high school graduates free tuition at a two-year institution in Tennessee, and higher admission standards TSU implemented in 2016 to attract better and brighter students.

She noted the higher standards are paying off because the university is attracting more quality students, including two highly sought after high school seniors from Memphis.

Jayla Woods, a graduate of Whitehaven High School, received nearly $9 million in scholarship offers. A fellow student, Meaghen Jones, got more than $10 million in offers. Both will be at TSU when classes start this month.

“We’ve moved to quality over quantity,” Glover said.

She also pointed out the university is continuing to excel in research, as well as campus growth. In the next few months, ground is expected to be broken on a new Health Sciences Building and two new residence halls.

As for research funding, TSU ended the past year with $52 million, which was $8 million more than the previous year and placed Tennessee State No. 2 among historically black colleges and universities in new research funding.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU’s vice president of research and institutional advancement, said she’s excited about the future of TSU.

“I’m looking forward to this year,” she said. “The plan is to keep the momentum, and actually accelerate this year with larger initiatives, that once again still provide greater impact to the research we’re doing.”

Tequila Johnson, chair of the Staff Senate, said she was pleased to hear the positive outcomes and outlooks shared by President Glover, as well as others who presented during the retreat.

“I think it was a great opportunity to be able to fellowship with staff and faculty members,” Johnson said. “It was also a good opportunity to be able to hear some of the ideas that staff have in relationship to customer service and how we can work together to improve satisfaction.”

Assistant College of Business professor Isaac Addae said the Faculty-Staff Institute was “very effective in setting the tone for the upcoming semester.”

“Dr. Glover’s holistic approach to student-centered customer service, and reiterating to faculty that it takes all of us, is a step in the right direction,” he said. “As an alumnus and business faculty member, I was proud to see the upward trend of enrollment in our academic unit. I am inspired to do my part to embrace the Team TSU mindset and provide excellence in teaching, research and service to the institution.”

Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor of Urban Forestry in the College of Agriculture, said the information shared during the retreat provided inspiration for the year ahead.

“I thought it was great.  I thought it set the tone to build teamwork and collaboration and putting students first,” she said.  “I really liked the president’s message of ‘Team TSU,’ and using that throughout the year to build the TSU family and putting that at the forefront.”

Kiana Hughes, who earned a master’s degree from TSU in 2017 and now works as Title III program coordinator and completion coach, echoed similar sentiments.

“Being a recent graduate I really enjoyed seeing the actual numbers and the growth of the university. Also, being a recent graduate of a graduate program I am really excited to see the way the graduate school is progressing,” Hughes said.

Hughes, who received her undergraduate degree from TSU in Exercise Science HPSS (Human Performance Science), said she looks forward to a great year at the university.

“One thing I want to see and I am really excited about is faculty and staff coming together to make TSU a better environment over all. I am really excited about that, “Hughes said.

Following the annual faculty and staff institute employees gathered for lunch on the campus lawn where they continued to fellowship and share excitement about the new academic year.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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, 24 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.

Tennessee State University President Gives Upbeat Assessment of Institution as Faculty and Staff Return for New School Year

ribbon cutting
TSU President Glenda Glover (center) cuts the ribbon to the newly renovated student dining hall following the faculty/staff institute. Also pictured are (left to right) Derrick Seay, general manager for Aramark; Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration; Dave Parsonage, Aramark district manager; and Dr. Jane Jackson, executive vice president for Administration. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

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.

Excellence billboard
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
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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.