Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover announces retirement, going where voice is need

Glover, a 1974 TSU graduate, was appointed president by the TN Board of Regents in 2013.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Saying she was surrounded by 1,000 of her closest friends, Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover announced earlier that she will retire following the 2023-2024 academic year. Glover first shared her plans during the annual TSU Faculty Staff Institute that marks the beginning of the new academic year.  She later shared that same news during a press conference.

“After almost 11 years and having reached nearly every objective and goal I set for myself and TSU, as the leader of this great institution, my beloved alma mater, I stand before you to announce my retirement as President of Tennessee State University, at the end of the spring semester 2024. It was a decision that did not come too easily, and it was not made lightly. My voice is needed now on a more national platform.” 

President Glenda Glover announces that she will retire following the 2023-2024 academic year during a press conference at TSU.

Those goals and objects were prominently displayed behind her as she spoke to a crowded room of TSU supporters and reporters. SGA President Derrell Taylor, a Memphis native like President Glover, said it is disheartening moment but exciting at the same time to reflect on all the great things she has accomplished and all the ways she continues to lead the University into excellence.

“I believed that every time TSU had a major accomplishment, we just began to work on the next one or improved more and I appreciate that and believe that is what it takes in a leader,” said Taylor, a business major.

“Dr. Glover has led this institution to understand how to compete globally. Ultimately, I’m disappointed that as students we are uncertain of what the future holds, but I’m very confident that she will do an excellence job in making the transition as smooth as possible to benefit students.”

Having led the institution for over a decade, President Glover said it was more than a full circle moment to serve as president of her alma mater.

83rd SGA president Derrell Taylor, Chrishonda O’Quinn, SGA vice president, Victoria McCrae, Miss TSU, Davin Latiker, Mister TSU, student trustee on the board of trustee, Shaun Wimberly, hugs President Glenda Glover after announcing Monday that she will retire following the 2023-2024 academic year.

“Serving as President of Tennessee State University has been the honor of a lifetime. Words cannot express the emotions I have as I stand before you this morning. TSU prepared me for every accomplishment I have achieved throughout my career. This is where I got my start, where the seeds of excellence were sown for a young teenager from south Memphis who aspired to change the world.”

Known as the national expert and leader for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Glover has guided TSU through a decade of excellence while overcoming challenges and celebrating significant milestones and accomplishments. This includes using her influence to bring national figures to the TSU campus.

“We have elevated the brand, the reputation, and the legacy; and ensured that TSU is on a nationwide platform by increasing the national visibility of this university. TSU is being discussed in rooms where it has never been discussed before. This recognition helped us recruit even more students, not only from Tennessee but from around the country.”

President Glover’s accomplishments are a source of pride for TSU alumni.

TSU President Glenda Glover with college deans, board of trustee members, faculty, after the annual Faculty Staff Institute

“Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover serves her alma mater with tenacity,” said Charles Galbreath, president of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association.

“For over a decade, Dr. Glover has successfully positioned, protected, and promoted Tennessee State University on international platforms. I am encouraged to see a daughter of the Civil Rights Movement wield the wisdom and power of that era, fighting the good fight for today’s injustices. I admire Dr. Glover’s grace under pressure and her humility when praised. Dr. Glenda Glover is a global trailblazer, and her influence will live for generations to come at our beloved alma mater.”

In her announcements, she thanked students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders for their support.

“I am merely retiring from the presidency of Tennessee State University. Wherever my door may be, it will always remain open to the students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and the Nashville community. I will continue to advance educational opportunities, ensuring fairness, equity, and justice for African Americans and people of color, women, and those often left behind.”

Shaun Wimberly, the student representative to the TSU Board Trustees, commented that it is Glover’s leadership and focus on helping others that he will always remember.

“Our president has served my beloved school and its surrounding community diligently for over a decade. To myself and to many she is the definition of a servant leader. It’s bittersweet to see her go, but it is even more exciting to see where her path may lead next. I couldn’t have picked a better time to come to TSU. Thank you, President Glover.”

President Glover graduated from TSU in 1974 and went on to have a stellar career in the corporate sector and higher education. She is one of a few women to hold the CPA, Ph.D., JD combination.

President Glenda Glover Decade of Accomplishments at TSU

  • Moved TSU Moved TSU into the R2-high research category, one of only 11 HBCU in R2 category
  • Expanded internships and permanent placement for students
  • Established essential new degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels
  • More than doubled TSU endowments from $45 million to over $100 million
  • Significantly increased grant funding with all-time high of over $100 million in 2023
  • Increased the national visibility of TSU
  • Noted as the national HBCU leader among and others in higher education
  • Implemented plan to move TSU from R2 to R1, the highest research category offered
  • First HBCU to establish a national technology and innovation center
  • Established the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr Institute and Accelerated medical program with Meharry Medical College
  • First student-operated physical therapy and occupational therapy clinic
  • #1 HBCU forensic and debate champions for three consecutive years
  • Record corporate partnership and million-dollar donations
  • Aristocrat of Bands first collegiate marching band to win a Grammy
  • Fall 2022 Largest Freshmen Enrollment among HBCUs
  • 2022 OVC Volleyball Championship
  • Successful $1 Million in One Month Campaign
  • Successfully led TSU through the COVID pandemic, tornado recovery, and other crisis moments
  • Implemented comprehensive campus safety plan, including the installation of fencing