Kicking ass and taking names part two

TSU president launches changes aimed at benefiting students, campus
Tennessee State University's interim leader is cutting 30 administrative positions, slashing the travel budget in half to fund tutoring sessions for students and even overhauling the notoriously user-unfriendly parking system.

"There's a lot we have to do, and all of it is for the good of the students, every little bit of it," interim President Portia Holmes Shields told a standing-room-only crowd at a Monday campus forum.

Shields, who was brought in to oversee the campus's reaccreditation and to implement other reforms, spent her first month at TSU studying what works and what needs to be changed.

At the top of the list of things to be changed is the university's top-heavy bureaucracy. Administrative cuts include the position of the president's chief of staff. Those being removed will receive their 90-day notice by mid-February, although some may go into other positions at the university.

The money saved by eliminating positions, along with the savings from a 52 percent cut in the university's travel budget, will be funneled into paying faculty to hold special makeup and review sessions for students on Fridays and Saturdays.


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