President Glover lauds dedication of TSU employees, unveils five-year plan at faculty-staff institute

President Glover delivered her state of the university speech. (photo by Aaron Grayson, TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover praised employees for their contributions to the success TSU has achieved, and she challenged them to take the university to even higher heights over the next five years.

In her state of the university speech to the 2022 Faculty-Staff Institute, Dr. Glover addressed the university’s successes and challenges, particularly operating amid the coronavirus and its variants. She applauded employees for their dedication.

“I commend you on how you have responded to this COVID crisis,” said Glover, who spoke in-person at the event that was also live streamed.    “You made adjustments in your personal lives to meet the needs of our students. You are the source of our tremendous vitality.”

In pointing out TSU’s successes, the president discussed faculty attracting more than $70 million in sponsored research and external funding during the 2020-21 fiscal year, a school record. She also cited using federal dollars (CARES Act) to pay off students’ balances, and that the university is owed $544 million by the state of Tennessee. Discussions are currently underway to determine exactly how much the university will receive.

“I am reminded again and again that TSU is an extraordinary place,” said Glover.

The highlight of her presentation, however, was a five-year strategic plan for the university. It includes achieving an R1 research status (currently R2); 10 to 15 new doctoral programs; doubling research funding to $150 million; increasing overall enrollment from 8,000 to 10,000; boosting the endowment to $200 million, and $75 million in reserves; and establishing at least five high impact named centers with contributions of $2 million each.

“It’s an exciting time for Tennessee State University,” said Dr. William Johnson, faculty trustee on TSU’s Board of Trustees. “The vision laid out by the president is a high bar. But that’s what Tennessee State University does. We reach for the high bar and we overcome it.”

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the university family is ready for the challenge.

“She’s challenged us over the next five years to move the needle on how Tennessee State University provides education and opportunities to our students,” said Stevenson. “And we’re ready to step up and accept that challenge.”

Dr. Nolan McMurray, Jr., interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, agreed.

“President Glover presented a strong and positive atmosphere for TSU’s future,” said McMurray. “She’s definitely going to take the school to the next level.”

Classes at the university are scheduled to begin on Jan. 24.

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