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A Love Letter to TSU

A Love Letter to TSU
Harold M. Love Jr. - FEBRUARY 21, 2023

As a third-generation TSU graduate, Harold M. Love Jr. is committed to doing everything that is in the best interest of Tennessee State University. Recently, there have been concerns about the university's future, and Love Jr. has addressed some of these concerns in a letter to the TSU community.

One of the main points Love Jr. makes is that the State of Tennessee is not trying to make TSU a community college by placing the administration under the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). Love Jr. explains that TSU, along with other state universities, was under TBR before the FOCUS ACT of 2016. For the past seven years, TSU has still utilized TBR to assist with the university's construction projects.

Love Jr. also clarifies that the state is not trying to take over TSU. After the passage of the FOCUS ACT, the Governor made appointments to the Board of Trustees that had to be confirmed by the state legislature. Each year, there may be members who roll off. TSU currently has two members who are up for reappointment or replacement.

Moreover, the Government Operations Committee is not treating TSU any differently from other Higher Education Institutions. Every public university, including the University of Tennessee, must appear before the Government Operations Committee after its audit to have its Board renewed. Based on previous audit findings, TSU's Board was renewed for two years. The two years are coming to an end, and, by law, the Government Operations Committee must act to make a recommendation based on current audit findings. This is not a special hearing.

Love Jr. also emphasizes that there will not be a vote on February 23 to place TSU under TBR. The Senate Ad Hoc Committee had questions about the current leadership's ability to effectively lead the university. The Comptroller's office interviewed students, faculty, and staff to gain a better understanding of complaints they received from parents and students. The committee will review the report at this hearing. Love Jr. encourages everyone to attend the Senate Ad Hoc Education Committee to hear the report of the Comptroller of the Treasury and the Government Operations Committee to hear updates on the audit report for TSU.

Finally, Love Jr. mentions that $250 million has been allocated for building repairs and construction, and an additional $92 million has been approved before July 1, 2022, for two new buildings ($60 million for engineering and $32 million for agriculture). Love Jr. assures everyone that he is committed to doing everything in the best interest of TSU and encourages anyone with questions to contact his office.

As a TSU graduate, Love Jr.'s commitment to the university is evident in his efforts to clarify the situation for the TSU community. His letter addresses some of the major concerns that have been raised about the university's future and provides important context to the ongoing discussions. With Love Jr.'s reassurances and commitment to the university, the TSU community can be confident that their beloved institution is in good hands.