Tag Archives: Infrastructure

TSU unveils plans for historic $250 million from State, model for other HBCUs

By Kelli Sharpe, Alexis Clark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On the day the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK Day, Tennessee State University shared its plans for the historic $250 million from the State of Tennessee. It is the largest one-time investment to a historically black university by a state. The funds come at a critical time as states across the nation are being held accountable even more for underfunding HBCUs. The funds are for capital improvement projects only as outlined by the State.  

University officials say long overdue repairs and upgrades are now on the way, citing many of the campus structures have gone without improvements for decades. 

TSU president, student and university leaders, local lawmakers during an unveiling for historic $250 million campus-wide infrastructure projects. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

TSU President Glenda Glover says the much-needed funding will cover expenses for upgrades to several academic and student services buildings, in addition to the electrical and HVAC systems. 

“We are excited to share with you our plans for using this historic funding that will assist with TSU’s continued growth and campus development as we provide students with the best academic environment possible.” Glover adds. “This will allow us to enhance our campus for further sustainability as we continue our service to our students.” 

A total of six structures will see improvements, including: Boswell Science Complex, Davis Humanities Bldg., Elliott Hall, Jackson Hall, Harold Love, Sr. (LRC), and McCord Hall. University officials say they are beginning with buildings that have reached or are near their life expectancy. 

TSU student leaders spoke about the excitement of announcing the improvements to their campus as they reflected on the day honoring civil rights icon, Dr. King. 

Boswell Science Complex is one of six buildings that will be apart of structures that will see improvements at the university.

“Today we are seeing that dream come into fruition as we are seeing six buildings being renovated to uplift TSU,” says Student Government Association President Kenneth Rolle, II. “I am glad to be on this side of history to say I was here when we started this project.” 

SGA Vice President Aliyah Holmes shared the same sentiments and noted that one of the buildings slated for improvements is a major part of student life. 

“As a student … the building I am most excited about, is the Davis Humanities Building. We use that building a lot,” Holmes says. 

“We use that building for classes as well as events, and student engagement at TSU is such an important aspect. That is also another aspect that keeps students wanting to come here. I want to applaud Dr. Glover … and our executive cabinet for being able to advocate and listen to the student body.” 

During the unveiling SGA president Kenneth Rolle, II says he is glad to be on this side of history to say, “I was here when we started this project.” (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Gov. Bill Lee and lawmakers allocated the historic funding package in April 2022 for infrastructure developments and major improvements that also include outdoor lighting, HVAC system upgrades, and interior décor.  

President Glover thanked Gov. Lee and lawmakers and applauded State Rep. Harold Love, Jr. for his work to ensure TSU gets funds that had been withheld for decades. Love, who is also a TSU alumnus, believes the enhancements will play a greater role in attracting world-class students and faculty. 

“This is a start of a multi-year project to make sure we invest in facilities at Tennessee State University. If we are providing a high-quality education, we must provide the facilities that are state of the art,” says Rep. Love. “These upgrades and improvements will help to sure that all of our students are equipped with all they need to be able to be great scholars and our faculty to be able to be great instructors.” 

Rep. Love was joined by fellow Davidson County lawmaker Sen. Heidi Campbell and State Architect Ann McGauran.    

SGA Vice President Aliyah Holmes shares her excitement about buildings slated for improvements during the project unveiling on Jan. 16, 2022. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

TSU officials say the goal of the campus improvements is to eliminate life-safety issues, address deferred maintenance, and invest in academic buildings. 

“TSU is working to extend the life expectancy of our facilities to better accommodate our students and to enhance their college experience while here,” says Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president and chief of staff. 

The historic funding is the result of a joint legislative committee’s research in 2021. It was revealed in April 2021 that TSU could be due $544 million, dating back to the 1950s, because of years of unpaid land-grant matches by the state. President Glover and Rep. Love, Jr., who served as chairman of the committee, commented then that the outcome was critical to the livelihood of TSU.  

Glover told the crowd during her final remarks at the unveiling that she appreciated the hard work from both sides of the political aisle to reach an agreement instead of being embroiled in a lengthy court battle like in Mississippi and Maryland with their HBCUs. 

Shaun Wimberly, who serves as the student trustee for the university, summed it up best when he proclaimed he’s already thinking about his future that will include TSU. 

“I’m excited for TSU’s future and what this funding and these upgrades will do for my school. I will be a proud legacy as my children will come here to get a quality education.”   

TSU to get major boost with infrastructure needs, research and increased federal aid  for students with final funding bill of 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students and those enrolled at historically black colleges and universities across the country will see an increase in Pell grants. Eligible students will receive an additional $500 as a part of the $1.7 trillion 2022 Omnibus Bill unveiled by congressional leaders. The final funding bill of the year also includes increased funding for research and infrastructure for HBCUs.

President Glenda Glover

This is a major boost for TSU as the university undertakes several capital improvement projects, as well as efforts to achieve an R1 Carnegie research designation.

“We are thankful to Congresswoman Alma Adams, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the White House, and all others who were instrumental in getting this legislation passed,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. 

Included in the funding are several programs that will benefit TSU: $50 million for HBCU, TCU, and MSI Research and Development Infrastructure Grants, a program originally included in the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act.

 “I am proud to have secured significant wins for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the federal omnibus for Fiscal Year 2023,” said Congresswoman Adams (D-NC), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.

“These planning and implementation grants are designed to promote transformational investments in research infrastructure at four-year HBCUs, TCUs, and other MSIs.”

Glover, who also serves as the vice chair of President Joe Biden’s Advisory Board on HBCUs, added that the funding aligns with TSU’s plans for long-term growth and sustainability. 

“I am pleased to have helped with advocating to lawmakers and others the importance of the bill that makes HBCUs stronger and helps our institutions continue the work of strengthening our communities by providing a quality education to our students,” Glover said.

“We currently have major capital infrastructure projects and increased research activities underway, This bill will provide additional resources to assist TSU in successfully reaching our goals of enhancing and upgrading our campus footprint and becoming an R1 research institution.” 

TSU is in the middle of a major facelift to academic buildings, improvements to outdoor lightings and interior décor as part of a campus-wide infrastructure upgrade initiative that is expected to last through 2023.

The increase in Pell grant awards is the largest since the 2009-2010 school year. Approximately 65 percent of TSU students depend on some type of financial aid, including the Pell grant. Nationally, about seven million students, many from lower-income families, receive Pell grants every year to help them afford college.

Terrance Izzard, TSU’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, echoed President Glover’s sentiments that the boost in funding for Pell grant award will help financially struggling students stay in school.

“Coming out of a pandemic, along with tough economic times, this increase in funding could not have come at a better time for parents and students,” Izzard said. “This certainly is big relief and lessens the added burden of students trying to achieve their educational goals amid high cost of tuition and other needs.”

For a detailed summary of the Congressional bill, visit https://appropriations.house.gov/sites/democrats.appropriations.house.gov/files/FY23%20Summary%20of%20Appropriations%20Provisions.pdf