State better have their money!
Tennessee State University (TSU) could be awarded a half-billion dollars in owed funds from the state, News Channel 5 Nashville reports.
When TSU was founded, the federal government placed the college and the University of Tennessee (UT) on a land grant program. This particular program ensures that for every dollar sent by the federal government to fund the schools, the state of Tennessee would match that amount.
Now the University is citing years of unpaid land grant matches. A joint committee of the legislature is reviewing the debt, which, according to financial analysts, rounds out at about $544,000,000.
TSU is owed $150M to $544M by the state of TN in land grant funds that were not properly matched as required by law. It’s never too late to do what’s right and we are pleased that lawmakers are rectifying this. TSU will be made a much stronger univ which benefits all of Tennessee
— Dr. Glenda Glover (@gloverpres) April 6, 2021
Rep. Harold Love Jr. spoke on TSU’s behalf, saying that the land grant should’ve matched 75% for UT and 25% for TSU. Still, funding has been inconsistent on the state and federal level, although some argue the accuracy of that particular ratio.
“The argument that we don’t know what the ratio is, that doesn’t hold water. We’ve been funding these 75-25 from the federal government. TSU sometimes is not getting their money [and] TSU is not getting paid dollar for dollar,” Rep. Love said.
Dr. Glenda Glover, TSU President, spoke about the issue, saying that money is still owed no matter the exact ratio.
“We know there’s been some past ills among HBCUs across the country when it comes to land grant matches. So, I’m happy that Tennessee is taking the lead in this process because I’m talking to other presidents of land grant institutions in the 1890s. We all have the same problem,” Dr. Glover said.
Glover added that the lack of funding has impacted the University severely and hopes that this discussion marks the first step towards the state resolving the issue and paying them what they’re owed.
“What has TSU lost? We could not recruit properly. There’s research dollars that we’re able to get and use. The 4H club, the extension work that we’re doing. So, we have to find a way to make ends meet, and without getting the dollars the federal government [required] be matched,” said Dr. Glover.
Pay Tennessee State and all HBCUs what they’re owed.
Photo Courtesy of Tennessee State University