Jackson State President Carolyn Meyers Announces Resignation

Finance controversy ends five year tenure of expansion, growth.

Finance controversy ends five year tenure of expansion, growth.

Jackson State University President Carolyn Meyers, who ushered in a new era of international development, campus expansion, research capacity and enrollment growth for the state’s flagship black college, has resigned.

Officials posted her resignation letter to Facebook this evening, addressed to Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Commissioner Glenn Boyce and state College Board President Douglas Rouse.

Her resignation brings to a close a week of intense scrutiny following revelations about the university’s management of cash reserves, which dwindled from $37 million to just over $4 million in the last five years.

Dr. Meyers, who has overseen historic enrollment and campus growth since her arrival and was named HBCU Female President of the Year at the 2014 HBCU Awards, faced scrutiny last year surrounding the exit of multiple athletic coaches and high profile executives.

In a statement published by the Jackson Free Press, officials cited the expansion of the campus’ enrollment and academic profiles, while citing the need for renovations as a primary catalyst for the drain of its cash reserves.

The historic growth of Jackson State University over the past five years has been phenomenal, including launching new programs such as the School of Public Health, JSU Global and the School of Journalism and Media Studies; enhancing state-of-the-art facilities in the renowned College of Science, Engineering and Technology; and increasing the university’s footprint by opening new campuses, including JSU Madison and JSU Downtown. These expansions, as well as capital and academic upgrades to the university, have resulted in the use of the university’s reserve funds — its savings account.

But officials called the siphoning of savings a situation requiring intense response from the state.

“Since May 2014, the Board of Trustees, the Commissioner of Higher Education and IHL Staff have communicated concerns over the university’s financial position to Jackson State University personnel, including the Chief Financial Officer and President,” said Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education. “The annual financial statement for FY 2016 received by IHL Staff in August 2016 indicated that the situation has escalated from a concern to a level serious enough to require immediate intervention.”

Last month, JSU received more than $5 million in federal funding to promote minority access to advanced degrees and careers in STEM fields.