Press Releases

Glover Tapped to Head TSU

 Press Release from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Nov. 27, 2012:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 27, 2012) – The Tennessee Board of Regents unanimously approved Glenda Baskin Glover as the next president for Tennessee State University today.

Glover will assume her leadership role January 2 after the contract for Interim President Portia Shields expires.

The Board met via telephone at 1:30 p.m. to consider TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Glover, who currently serves as dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Glover, a 1974 TSU graduate, was selected after an extensive nationwide search that began earlier this year. A licensed attorney and certified public accountant, Glover earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from TSU, an MBA from Clark Atlanta University, the J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her Ph.D. in business economics and policy from George Washington University. Her complete resume is available at

“I am truly honored and excited about returning to my alma mater, Tennessee State University, in this monumental leadership role,” Glover said after the vote. “It is indeed a privilege to be selected as president of such a historic institution that has enriched the lives of so many students, and empowered thousands of families and communities, and still continues to do so today.”

TSU, Tennessee’s only public HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), is a doctoral/research intensive institution located in Nashville. It recently earned a Top 20 ranking for HBCUs by U.S.News & World Report and has been listed as one of the Top HBCUs in the United States by Black Enterprise magazine. Washington Monthly named TSU as one of the nation’s top universities in its 2011 College Rankings because of its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities.

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

Education NewsTracker

Summerville Loses Chairmanship After Insulting Black Caucus (Updated)

Updated Aug. 24, 2012 with comments and committee resignation letter from Sen. Jim Summerville.

State Sen. Jim Summerville doesn’t “give a rat’s ass what the black caucus thinks.”

At least that’s what he told Memphis state Rep. Barbara Cooper via email Wednesday in response to her report from the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators criticising the probe of a state university for changing students’ grades.

Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Dolores Gresham stripped Summerville of his chairmanship on the Higher Education Subcommittee Thursday, saying she is “very disappointed in the unfortunate choice of words and tone” of Summerville, R-Dickson.

“There is a standard of courtesy that must be observed by members of the General Assembly, and this went beyond what is acceptable,” she said in a statement.

Summerville is standing by his remark, although he announced his resignation from the Senate Education Committee via a handwritten letter to Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey Friday.

“Which part wasn’t clear? The matter speaks for itself,” he told reporters in his office Friday morning.

“Maybe I could have used a more artful term, like a rodent’s posterior.”

Early this month, the Senate Higher Education Sub-Committee investigated allegations that Tennessee State University school officials changed “incomplete” grades to letter grades for 270 introductory math students without instructors’ permission.

The committee met Aug. 13, and the Tennessee Board of Regents told lawmakers the historically black university did nothing wrong other than poorly communicate with faculty members.

Cooper’s report, on behalf of the 18-member Black Caucus, questioned why the hearing was called in the first place, calling it “much to do about nothing.”

“It seems that the complainants, very competent, high-level experts in their field of educational attainment should honor the greatness of TSU and think about harm to the students first, respect leadership and follow the rules, regulations and guidelines,” reads the report.

“When ‘I Gotcha’ tactics are used, the administration, instructors, staff, students and alumni are affected, greatly diminishing the reputation of TSU,” the report concluded.

Summerville, who is white, responded with one line from his personal email account, “I don’t give a rat’s ass what the black caucus thinks.”

Leading House Democrats are demanding Summerville apologize to Cooper and the Black Caucus, saying they are “deeply concerned by the rhetoric.”

“His words show a complete lack of respect and decorum for not only Representative Barbara Cooper, but the entire Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus. There is no place in the General Assembly and the public discourse for this kind of foul and offensive remark,” read the joint statement from House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, and Democratic Caucus Leader Mike Turner, D-Old Hickory.

The first-term Republican attracted media attention this summer when he was served with a criminal summons and cited with a misdemeanor for letting his dogs run loose in his Dickson neighborhood. At some point in the dispute Summerville reportedly put up a sign – “You’ve been warned,” it read in part – which his neighbors viewed as threatening. Summerville was found not guilty for violating the state’s dogs-at-large law Thursday, according to the Tennessean.

Press Releases

Summerville: TSU Report ‘Illustrates Areas of Great Concern’

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; August 22, 2012: 

(NASHVILLE, TN), August 22, 2012 — “While the Committee’s report clears officials at TSU of academic fraud, it points out many areas of great concern regarding administrative oversight, poor decisions and unclear promises made to our students,” said Senator Jim Summerville (R-Dickson), Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee. “Those responsibilities rise to the top ranks of TSU.”

“We endorse the internal audit recommendations and believe that they should be incorporated to ensure the highest of standards which the students, faculty and alumni at this distinguished and valued university deserve.”

Press Releases

Gresham Authorizes Special Hearings for TSU Grade-Change Allegations

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; July 12, 2012: 

(NASHVILLE), July 12, 2012 — Senate Education Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) released a response today giving Senate Higher Education Subcommittee Chairman Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) authorization to probe allegations at TSU regarding grade alterations. Summerville sent Gresham a formal letter of request yesterday asking for permission to hold hearings after it was reported that the TSU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors claimed that “someone in the administration” changed many student grades from Incompletes to Cs.

“This is to acknowledge and approve your request to conduct hearings on the allegations of grade tampering at Tennessee State University,” Gresham said in responding to Summerville’s request. “I am confident that you and your subcommittee will determine the facts and scope of the situation and subsequently offer a report with recommendations for corrective action. As you know, compliance with the Complete College Tennessee Act with fidelity and integrity is our highest priority.”

“You are authorized direct liaison with other agencies as appropriate,” she continued.

Other members of the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee are Senator Reginald Tate (D-Memphis) and Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville).

Gresham said the date for the hearings will be set by Senator Summerville.

Press Releases

Summerville Requests Senate Hearing on Grading at TSU

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; July 11, 2012:

(NASHVILLE), July 11, 2012 — Senate Higher Education Subcommittee Chairman Jim Summerville (R-Dickson) said today he has sent a letter of request to Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) asking for permission to hold hearings regarding the controversy over allegations of grade alterations at Tennessee State University (TSU).

The request comes after it was reported that the TSU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors claimed that “someone in the administration” initiated hundreds of grade changes in math courses, changing them from Incompletes to Cs. Incompletes are only allowed in extenuating circumstances.

“As we work to raise standards for our colleges and universities in Tennessee, these are serious allegations,” said Senator Summerville, who is a college instructor. “If the allegations are true, they threaten to rattle the structure and integrity of the University and have the potential to cheapen the degrees that so many students work very hard to achieve. It is especially alarming that the allegations are pointed at those in the top tier of the University.”

Other members of the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee are Senator Reginald Tate (D-Memphis) and Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville).