From the vantage point of Tennessee State University officials, the budget Gov. Bill Lee presented on Monday makes TSU a budget priority and would enhance the growth and development of the HBCU (historically black college and universities).
In his State of the State address delivered Monday evening, Lee said he is proposing that TSU receive $60 million for a new engineering building and $250 million for strategic initiatives.
That includes infrastructure improvements, repairs, renovations of multiple buildings, as well as planning, design, and out-year construction. Another $8 million is included for building maintenance.
It is the largest funding recommendation in the University’s 110-year history.
“We are pleased that Governor Bill Lee made Tennessee State University a priority in his budget,” said TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover. “Governor Lee has taken a crucial step in highlighting the State’s commitment to our infrastructure needs, but more importantly to our students.
“His budget recommendation will enhance TSU, directly benefiting our faculty, staff, students, and all Tennesseans. This is a historic moment for TSU and our legacy. I am hopeful that lawmakers will help us build upon that legacy and be a part of it.”
Rep. Harold Love Jr., also a TSU alumnus, agreed that Lee’s proposal is important to the competitive growth of the university.
“I appreciate the governor including in his budget proposal to the legislature a significant investment in the infrastructure of Tennessee State University’s campus,” said Love.
“Now the work begins to keep it in the budget and get the budget passed.”
Lee also is proposing $90 million to fully fund the outcomes-based funding formula, which will benefit each of the State’s 4-year public universities.
Dr. Glover said the administration will bring forth a bill for lawmakers to consider that will increase the Hope Scholarship dollars to $5,100 per year for all four years at TSU. Currently, the allotment is $3,500 for years one and two, and $4,500 for years three and four.