Tennessee State University president to resign in spring 2024

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Dive Brief:

  • Glenda Glover, president of Tennessee State University, announced Monday she will step down at the end of the spring 2024 semester after helming the historically Black institution for a decade. 
  • In 2013, Glover returned to lead her alma mater, Tennessee’s sole public HBCU. She is the institution’s first woman president and is credited with lifting its fundraising.
  • Her departure comes after a state report alleged Tennessee State’s management didn’t have sound financial practices and suggested that officials there could be replaced.

Dive Insight:

Earlier this year, a state review found Tennessee State exacerbated a student housing shortage when it engaged in a massive enrollment effort and more than quadrupled its scholarship budget for the 2022-23 school year. 

The state said Tennessee State leaders had “disregard of basic financial controls,” and state policymakers pushed to vacate its entire board of trustees and hire a new administration. 

Glover fought against the state’s findings, saying it had misrepresented the institution’s enrollment strategy. University officials and supporters also blamed the issues on a systemic dearth of state funding.

In 2021, an audit had determined the state might owe Tennessee State up to $544 million because of chronic underfunding. 

In response, Gov. Bill Lee baked $318 million in capital funding for the university into the state’s fiscal 2023 budget.

Glover, however, has done more than guide the institution through controversy.

She is one of the longest serving and most decorated women HBCU presidents in the country and has served as an expert on issues affecting this bloc of institutions. In 2021, for instance, President Joe Biden named Glover as vice chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

Glover has a doctorate, and is a certified public accountant and attorney. She’s one of only two African-American women in the country to hold all three credentials, according to Tennessee State’s website. 

She got her start in college administration in the 1990s, when she became dean of the business college at Jackson State University, in Mississippi, before coming to Tennessee State.

During Glover’s tenure, Tennessee State grew grant funding to over $100 million annually.

Glover is not the only HBCU president to resign recently. Several others have announced abrupt exits this year, including presidents of Alcorn State University, Texas Southern University and LeMoyne-Owen College. Some of the executives left after clashing with governing board leadership.


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