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Legislature to study TSU land grant funding issues

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Posted at 8:46 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 22:21:56-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee legislature will study the impacts of missing money Tennessee State University was supposed to receive as part of a grant agreement from the late 1800s.

Monday, a joint legislative committee met to hear from TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover. The committee wanted to hear the impacts of promised funding which wasn't delivered by the state for decades.

TSU and the University of Tennessee Knoxville were both granted land for agricultural programs by the federal government. The land grant came with the stipulation that the state would also match a yearly monetary grant from the federal government.

In TSU's case, the state did not match the fund's dollar for dollar for decades. Dr. Glover said it's a loss of many millions of dollars.

"TSU has various needs," said Dr. Glover. "The infrastructure, the electrical bill, the student scholarships, the competitiveness, the technology. So, there's so many needs that we've had we've managed all these years on a shoestring budget. We don't mind that, but when something is owed to us we'd like to start that path to get those funds."

Nashville Representative Harold Love said he'd like for the state to calculate how much money wasn't given in accordance with the land grant and then try to make up for it.

"I think once the committee gets its final findings in and we do research from the budget bits we have on site and find out how much money was kept back from TSU, then we can talk about how to cure that, how to remedy that," said Rep. Love. "Whether it be a one-time situation or we're talking about a long term plan to make it better."

For the past three years, Tennessee has matched the land grant requirements after the issue was brought up to former governor Bill Haslam.