Texas Southern Regents Back Embattled President John Rudley

By: Jarrett Carter Sr. – @jlcarter_sr

Regents at Texas Southern University have affirmed their support of president John Rudley, who has faced controversies stemming from violent crime and student dissatisfaction on campus in the last two months. 

In a letter to the campus community, regents expressed their satisfaction with Dr. Rudley’s plans to address campus safety and operational efficiency during a meeting held last Saturday. 

TSU Board of Regents Chairman Derrick Mitchell said that the board will take an active role in securing resources to support the school’s mission and development.

“We are satisfied that Dr. Rudley and TSU administrators are being pro-active in correcting issues that can impact the efficient operation of this historic institution,” said Mitchell.  “The Board has recommitted to being a strong presence to assure there is complete oversight of all aspects going forward.”

Dr. Rudley, a Tennessee State University alumnus who was named Texas Southern president in 2008 after serving as interim president of the University of Houston, has seen several high profiles incidents of violence on the metropolitan campus over his tenure. Three shootings within a week’s span earlier this month earned the school national headlines, with the last attack resulting in the death of one student and the injury of a non-student. 

The school has been a state leader for violent campus crimes for almost a decade, according to reports from ABC News and KHOU in Houston. The uptick in crime during this semester follows student protest about campus branding, living conditions and operations, which spread via a social media campaign, #TakeBackTSU. 

The school has also seen gains in philanthropy and campus support, as faculty and staff gave more than $1 million to the university during the last academic year,  and being named as an institutional partner for the City of Canton, OH scholarship program, which seeks to bolster out-of-state attendance at the school.

“I am grateful for the strong show of support by TSU’s Board of Regents and will continue to fulfill all of the expectations set when I took office eight years ago,” said Dr. Rudley in the letter. “I am committed to TSU and its long-standing mission to educate its diverse population of students.”


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