TBR Supports TSU Program Restructuring; President Shields

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan has approved and supports Tennessee State University’s academic restructuring plan announced this spring.

The plan discontinued six academic programs that are not productive or mission-essential to the university; reorganized and/or consolidated marginally productive but mission-essential academic programs; realigned a number of academic programs and colleges/schools; and reorganize academic schools and colleges.

The restructuring raised concerns among some faculty, students and some alumni, but most, including Morgan, supported the changes and lauded TSU’s Interim President Portia Shields for making difficult decisions to improve the university and trim the campus’ budget.

“These are some of the same types of changes many other campuses made over the past few years as funding and revenues declined,” Morgan said. “I wholeheartedly support Dr. Shields and believe she is doing everything she can to improve the campus and help TSU’s students succeed.”

Shields was hired in December to serve as interim president to ensure TSU’s progress with accreditation re-affirmation, to enhance student success, and to prepare the campus for advancement toward the Complete College Tennessee Act.

“Dr. Shields was chosen to lead TSU during a critical transition period because we needed someone who could substantially resolve the major issues plaguing the university and someone who could position the campus as a much more stable and attractive institution as we prepare for a national search for permanent leadership,” said Morgan.

“Because Dr. Shields will not be a candidate for the permanent presidency, she is able to make the difficult decisions in the best interest of the school and its students – decisions that would be more difficult for a permanent president.

“Her job is to leave the campus a better place than she found it, and I am confident that will happen.”

A complete list of changes made in TSU’s restructuring is available from TSU.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to more than 200,000 students.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.