TSU Holds Town Hall Meeting, New President Listens To Community
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Several hundred people came out to a town hall meeting Tuesday night at Tennessee State University.
It was a standing-room-only crowd as more people attended the meeting inside the gym at Kean Hall than anticipated.
Newly hired president Dr. Glenda Glover held the forum to share her vision for the school, and to open up a dialogue with community members.
"I wanted to get the input from everybody to see what can we do to make sure TSU is meeting the needs of the community," Glover said.
The university provided four microphones for audience members to voice their thoughts and concerns to the president.
"I've never seen a community forum, such as this, initiated by the president," commented former Metro Council member Carolyn Baldwin Tucker.
Many in the crowd thanked Glover for giving them the opportunity to speak out and share their thoughts about Tennessee State. Many offered their help to the new president so she can make her vision for the school a reality.
"What can I do as an individual in this community? What do you want from those of us in this room? Two or three things you need us to do," said community activist Rev. Enoch Fuzz.
Another speaker brought up an issue from two years ago when several programs at the university were eliminated by interim president Dr. Portia Shields.
"I don't see how we can truly look where we're are going, without knowing where we've been. And I think that's valid for every individual that walks on this campus," the speaker said.
Many in the audience see Dr. Glover's arrival at TSU as a fresh start for the university.
"Now that she's here, she has a building faculty, a building in support of alumni, and a wide student base ready to work with her and make this university better than it's ever been in the past. The best is yet to come," said TSU graduate Michael Robertson.
Dr. Glover said the community's input is key for Tennessee State to continue to succeed as a university.
"We're doing this together and everybody's input is important, diverse ideas is what makes us great," Glover said.
The university's 8th president also spoke of how she wants to make TSU a more diverse university, but pledges to maintain its heritage as an historically black university.