The Tennessee Board of Regents announced Wednesday that a search for a new president at Tennessee State University will begin in May.
Executive search firm Greenwood/Asher will assist the TBR with advertising and generating leads for prospective applicants over the summer. Then, the TBR plans to name a search advisory committee in August and have a new president selected by the end of October.
The president will replace Dr. Portia Shields, who has been in office since December 2010. Shields' contract stipulates that she won't be considered as a candidate in the search.
“TSU has a rich history and a bright future. We plan to do everything we can to find the best permanent leader to continue the university’s progress. Our ultimate goal is to help TSU students succeed, and Dr. Shields and the entire TSU community have already laid excellent groundwork for the next president,” said TBR chancellor John Morgan in a press release.
Shields was tasked with leading TSU into reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which the university achieved last December.
“We have been fortunate to have strong, effective and positive leadership with Dr. Shields at the helm during this interim period,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. “Her engagement with students, faculty, staff and the broader community has resulted in many positive changes on the campus.”
Shields, however, hasn't appeased everybody. She instituted several changes, including an academic “reorganization,” which resulted in the slashing and combining of several programs.
Several students, faculty and alumni created the Save TSU Community Coalition to oppose the reorganization plan.