Friday, March 29, 2024


From Megan Podsiedlik, Reposted from The Pamphleteer, March 29, 2024- Yesterday the sun
set on one Tennessee State University board and rose on another.  Around 9:00 a.m., the comptroller released two reports: a
 financial and compliance audit of the university for FY 2022 and a contracted forensic audit that reviewed its financial records, transactions, and processes from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2023. The latter uncovered the following discrepancies, among numerous others: 
  • TSU’s president was paid $32,640 above her contracted base salary, a pay bump that wasn’t approved until after it had been received. 
  • Student scholarships increased by almost 250 percent, from about $22.1 million in FY20 to approximately $55.5 million in FY23. This level of spending was deemed unsustainable.
  • The university lacked supporting documentation and criteria for awarding the aforementioned scholarships.
  • Between the above dates, TSU paid for seven transactions totaling $3,952.92 that could not be substantiated as university business.
  • Not only were students with unpaid account balances allowed to enroll, TSU failed to charge a minimum of $1.46 million in tuition or fees for students registered in graduate classes. 
Less than two hours later, the House passed a bill ousting the entire University board. Governor Lee swiftly signed the bill into law before appointing eight new board members—all before dinner time:
  • Trevia ChatmanPresident, Bank of America Memphis
  • Jeffery Norfleet, Provost and Vice President for Administration, Shorter College
  • Marquita QuallsFounder and Principal, Entropia Consulting
  • Terica SmithDeputy Mayor and Director of Human Resources, Madison County
  • Charles Traughber, General Counsel, Division of Real Estate, Retail, and Financial Services at Bridgestone Americas
  • Dwayne TuckerCEO of LEAD Public Schools
  • Kevin WilliamsPresident and CEO of GAA Manufacturing
  • Dakasha Winton, Senior Vice President and Chief Government Relations Officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Along with assisting in real estate, construction, and environmental matters for Bridgestone, Traughber is also the second Vice Chair of the Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission. We also clocked Tucker, who is CEO of LEAD, Nashville’s “largest homegrown charter school network.”
The new board is set to hit the ground running, first by choosing TSU’s new president. Just a few days ago, the old board announced the three finalists to replace President Glenda Glover. As of this writing, it’s unclear how the hiring process will proceed.

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