Memo outlines how Tennessee State cut back after not getting correct land-grant funding for decades

Lists buildings needing 'critical attention'
Posted at 4:48 PM, Oct 06, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In a memo, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission lists buildings and programs at Tennessee State University that need "critical attention" after the school was not properly funded by the state.

"It speaks to the fact that for decades, when Tennessee State did not get it's required state matching funds, that they were not able to maintain their buildings," said Rep. Harold Love Jr., chair of the land-grant committee.

Rep. Love has helped lead hearings over the last several months about money not making it to TSU.

As one of Tennessee's two land-grant universities, TSU is partially funded by the federal government and the state matches it. It was revealed last year that for five decades much of the university's funding never made it to campus.

Click here to see a timeline of the investigation.

Rep. Love said the memo from THEC helps put things into perspective.

"The beauty of the report is this we can see exactly what buildings need repair [and] where we can start, but also gives a timeline to say we must do these things immediately so we don't have continued deferred maintenance and the repairs become more costly to the taxpayers," said Rep. Love.

The memo states the university is in need of safety and security upgrades, roof work, better degree completion programs and more mental health services.

Additionally, it is recommended that four residence halls be torn down and rebuilt.

Click here to read the entire report.

"These are still state buildings, so I think there's a responsibility that we now have to make sure that Tennessee State's facilities are at a level where they are safe," Rep. Love said.

State lawmakers will once again take up the issue of TSU's funding when they come back into session in January.