Tag Archives: Dr. Miguel Cardona

“It’s never too late to do what’s right,” TSU President Glenda Glover wants State to pay $2.1 billion owed to the University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –  The HBCU community is still reacting to the letters the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department Education sent to 16 of the nation’s governors, stating that they collectively owed their respective land-grant HBCUs $13 billion. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack cited research conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Survey (IPEDS). Tennessee State University was listed as having the largest underfunding owed amount by a state at $2,147,784,704.

President Glenda Glover

“This enormous figure of over $2.1 billion can’t be overlooked,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“We have been on our own journey to recoup $544 million from the State that TSU should have received, as required by law, and were not aware of an additional underfunding review by the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture prior to the release of those letters.”

In 2022, Governor Bill Lee allocated $250 million to TSU which was approved by the legislature, making it the largest one-time State investment to any HBCU. President Glover added this was the result of working closely with TN lawmakers, who conducted their own research and calculations to pay TSU nearly half of the underfunded amount.

“TSU has a track record of working with the State, and we look forward to a similar relationship to get the $2.1 billion in funding USDA and the Dept. of ED have also researched. TSU deserves it, our students deserve it.” 

President of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association, Charles Galbreath

The USDA and Dept. of ED review covered a period of 33 years, from 1987 to 2020. The letter to Governor Lee acknowledges that Tennessee has made strides in providing more equitable funding for TSU but reiterates more is still needed to overcome the historic underfunding of the university. TSU alumni and students say this latest $2.1 billion speaks to the long-standing underfunding of the University but also to TSU’s resilience in being successful despite having been slighted for so long.

“I am impressed by the global impact Tennessee State University alumni have made considering how significantly and historically underfunded the University has been,” said Charles Galbreath, president of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association.  

“I often ponder how much greater the impact might have been with greater resources. Equitable funding can only attempt to reconcile a blemished past. However, equitable funding can absolutely enhance the global contributions of future Tennessee State University students and alumni.”

President Glover was highly scrutinized by Tennessee lawmakers last year for not having enough housing for a historic freshman class of over 3,300 students. TSU housed over 4,900 students, with the use of off-campus housing that included hotels. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the State’s other land-grant institution, used hotels for its housing overflow as well but did not face the same backlash of improper planning and inadequate leadership.

SGA president Derrell Taylor

“The State of Tennessee has two land-grant institutions. One has been allocated a tremendous amount of funding for decades, while another has had to operate with minimal apportions. However, this is not the time to issue blame or fault. It is time to come to the table with a strategic plan of action that specifically involves payment. The 33-years cited predates almost everyone at the capitol, but it’s never too late to do what’s right. Imagine how much greater TSU could be with equitable funding. The greater TSU becomes so will the State of Tennessee.”

SGA President Derrell Taylor, a business major from Memphis, believes the housing challenge and so many more infrastructure issues could have been avoided if TSU had received its fair share of funding all those years.

“I’ve been here four years and can only imagine what our campus would look like and how different the college experience would have been for me, and all the students before me,” said Taylor. 

“I would select TSU all over again without hesitation because it has been an amazing experience. The University has done so much with so little, but TSU should have never been put in this position in the first place. I should have the same advantages to be successful as my counterparts at the State’s other public institutions.”

Taylor said this includes more residence halls without community bathrooms, a new football stadium on campus, a true student center, an upgraded heating and cooling system, more computer labs throughout the campus, better technology, most importantly scholarships. So many students had to borrow money to attend TSU as the school of their choice when they could have had scholarships.

“TSU students should have what everyone else has, and we can with our right share of State funding.”

In the letter, both USDA and the Dept. ED offered to hold a workshop for the State’s Budget Office to review their calculations in detail. President Glover says she is hopeful that the State will schedule this workshop soon and invite TSU to participate.

U.S. Secretary of Education applauds TSU for efforts to bridge teacher shortage during visit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, hosted a roundtable discussion at Tennessee State University on Friday, Feb. 18, to address teacher shortages and other educational needs. The highlight of the conversation was TSU’s Grow Your Own teacher pipeline initiative in the College of Education. TSU is the number one HBCU for producing teachers and a top institution in the field across the nation. 

TSU President Glenda Glover (2nd from left in front) with U.S. Under Education Secretary James Kvaal (left) and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona with student leadership. (photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

TSU graduate and undergraduate students from the Grow Your Own program, faculty and local educational leaders participated in the dialog that allowed them to talk openly about issues impacting their lives and work environment, including diversity and the pandemic.

“This has been so amazing to have the Secretary of Education visit the campus of TSU and have such engaging discussions with our faculty and students,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “TSU has a proud legacy of producing quality teachers who are committed to the profession and for providing them the tools to succeed, ultimately resulting in student success. We are glad to share the success and impact of our Grow Your Own program with Secretary Cardona and look forward to his next visit.”

Dr. Jerri Haynes, dean of the College of Education, speaks during roundtable discussion. (photo by Aaron Grayson)

“I’m really proud of what I see here,” Cardona told reporters after the event. “We want to see more of this across the country. We know that with the American Rescue Plan funds, and what we’re pushing with Build Back Better, there’s going to be more support for this. It takes seeing programs like this to keep us pushing really hard because we know they work.”

Cardona said TSU is “not only a place where you’re going to see great programs … but you’re going to see an environment that’s welcoming and nurturing to all students.”

Currently, TSU has more than 50 participants in its GYO programs. Tanisha Morrow, a paraprofessional at a local Nashville high school, is among them, and she’s thankful. 

“This is paving the way for me to obtain a master’s degree in special education, and also allows me to get an endorsement in ESL,” said Morrow, who participated in the roundtable. “But more than anything, I’ll be able to better serve kids in our community. That’s important to me because our classrooms are so diverse. I need to be able to reach all learners.”

GYO participant Tanisha Morrow address roundtable. (photo by Aaron Grayson)

Education officials say initiatives like GYO are necessary to address teacher shortages, which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of education job openings overall surged by nearly 75 percent this fall compared to the same period last year. And teacher shortages, in particular, are expected to linger when the pandemic wanes, experts say. 

However, TSU and its Grow Your Own initiative is doing its part to make sure school districts are supplied with enough qualified teachers, said Dr. Jerri Haynes, dean of TSU’s College of Education.

“Some schools are starting without teachers, some have interim subs,” said Haynes, who was part of the roundtable. “So, we want to make sure that all students get a fair chance at the beginning of school with a highly qualified teacher in their classroom.”

Junior Tre’veon Hayes, an elementary school major from Memphis, Tennessee, said the visit by the Education Secretary and what he heard about programs like Grow Your Own, were motivational.

TSU junior Tre’veon Hayes, an elementary school major, talks to reporters following the event. (photo by Aaron Grayson)

“I like where we’re heading with the education vision,” said Hayes, a roundtable participant. “I believe we have a strong plan to really encourage more students to get involved in education.”

Dr. Adrienne Battle, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools and a TSU alumna, was also part of the roundtable, and she too, liked what she heard.

“It takes these types of conversations to make things happen,” said Battle. “I commend all of you for what you do.”

U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal was also a part of the visit to TSU. To learn more about TSU’s College of Education, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/coe/.

For more information about the state’s Grow Your Own initiative, visit https://bit.ly/36oIgKN.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.