Jason E. Mumpower, Tennessee’s State Comptroller

By Tribune Staff

NASHVILLE, TN — For the past few months, the State Comptroller, Jason E. Mumpower, and a group of GOP state lawmakers not African American friendly have performed a deceitful song and dance, acting as if they care for Tennessee State University and its Black students in the presence of their God. And, as usual, white folks always know what is best for Black folks, including this historically Black university (HBCU). 

What’s best for TSU, in their white minds, is to remove its president, Dr. Glenda Glover, along with its Board of Trustees so they can pick who they want to, like in slavery days during the Culture of White Power.

This is our university president who is totally committed to the students and their success. This is a president who expanded student internships and permanent placement opportunities, focused on faculty achievement and new degree programs, has moved the university from R3 research category to R2, and has developed a new strategy to move the university from R2 to R1 category. She is a president who has more than doubled the endowment, and increased alumni, corporate and community giving, which provide even more scholarships for Tennessee State University students in TSU’s history. She has had record-setting research awards for three consecutive years and has already broken the record this fiscal year.

Her leadership has a direct impact on TSU receiving more funds under her leadership than any other period in the school’s history. President Glover is loved by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the Nashville community of all races. Because of her leadership, TSU is recognized nationally and internationally more than any other school in the state.

The Tennessee Tribune asks Republicans this pertinent question -Why do some Republicans want to remove Dr. Glover as President of our beloved Tennessee State University? I’ll tell you why – because it is plain and simple – racism – (a person who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.)

Those Tennessee racists can’t stand that this ‘uppity negro woman’ is bringing too many accolades to our ‘Black’ school. It is the State of Tennessee’s way of harnessing this influential Black woman who is making things happen in a positive way at TSU.    What other school could bring Vice President Kamala Harris to Tennessee State University. Instead of applauding her, there is a handful of white Republicans leading the charge and continue to harass her. They have put a bullseye on her back and are working feverously to push her out. Why have these racist legislators continued to try and ruin her stellar reputation as an executive leader in higher education. Would they do this to a white woman in higher education? Hell No! We are all encouraging her to stay the course and continue to lead TSU as it has never been led in the history of the school. Targeting our Black men all these years and now you have the nerve to attack us – strong Black women! Die Hölle hat keine Wut wie eine Frau.

It is regretful that TSU’s record-setting 2022 freshmen class of 3300 students did not have enough housing. But the state is the blame, not TSU.  The white legislators held $544 million the State owed TSU on purpose to create this dilemma.  These same white lawmakers would not have withheld those funds from MTSU.  If they were Christians they would have acknowledged the State’s historic discrimination in TSU funding of over half a billion dollars. These same white legislators would not treat a white male or female university president in such a disrespectful derogatory manner. Common sense would tell the legislators that a surge in students impacted TSU’s operations and is the side effect of any successful growing business. Imagine what the TSU campus would look like if it had received the $544 million the State owed, four to five decades. My question is – would they have held that money from MTSU the predominately white school?  Hell No!

This brings me to the comptroller’s report that it is obvious that he was asked to conduct to find something they could use to help in their quest to get rid of the president and the board and hurt black students. Many of us have read the report and listened or attended the hearings. I’m sorry, but the Comptroller’s assessment and recommendations don’t add up to push this president and Board of Trustees out. Not one recommendation is centered on making things better for students. The entire focus is on getting rid of this president and board. This is racism and we cannot be silent about calling those legislators white bigoted racists.

It doesn’t matter that this freshmen class, whose credentials were harshly questioned by lawmakers, had an average high school grade point average of 3.4 coming into TSU. It doesn’t matter that TSU used its own money to fund the increase in scholarships and did not use any taxpayer dol lars or beg for any help at all from the state of Tennessee. It doesn’t matter that TSU is doing well financially and used the increase in revenue to fund additional scholarships. It doesn’t matter that the three audit findings that were dragged into the en- rollment review do not exist according to a recent audit from an independent CPA firm. It doesn’t matter that TSU is the strongest it has been financially in over a decade, with an endowment of almost $100 million, and savings reserves of over $50 million. What Nashvillians must do is continue to challenge the racist reports that say TSU is not doing well financially. These are documented information that the Comptroller’s Office and lawmakers have in their possession.  I am sure they all can read!

From this Black person’s perspective and knowledge of the issues, it won’t matter if the TSU Board of Trustees and President Glover address all the noted issues from the report. They want this president, along with her outstanding leadership and stellar credentials of CPA, JD, and Ph. D. gone from TSU to install a white president. This is especially true following the two hearings where President Glover made her case loud and clear in a manner that the most inarticulate legislator could understand.  

My final question, can a well-educated and highly credentialed Black woman, who has consistently been successful as a college president over the last 10 years, go to-toe-to with the ’good ole boy’ and white racist GOP network and win? That question remains to be seen but will be a resounding no if President Glover leaves TSU, her alma mater, under the unwarranted scrutiny of politicians less qualified and knowledgeable of higher education that are backing a bigoted, racist, and discriminatory agenda. President Glover has been good for TSU and we are supporting her. Let’s show up at the ballot box and make an impact on who really needs to go – white racist in Tennessee!