Tennessee State University has been cleared of fixing students' grades, but a new report from a state Senate committee suggests university leaders still made poor decisions.
Wednesday was move-in day at TSU, with freshmen getting a big welcome from the Aristocrat of Bands and campus leaders. The celebration was the kind of image TSU President Portia Shields hopes will counter recent news she believes has damaged the university's reputation.
The Senate Higher Education Subcommittee report, written by State Sen. Jim Summerville, R-Dickson, clears TSU of academic fraud but points out there are "areas of great concern regarding administrative oversight, poor decisions and unclear promises made to our students." And "those responsibilities rise to the top ranks of TSU."
The report is in response to the committee's probe into allegations of grade fixing after more than 100 students' math grades were changed last fall from 'incomplete' to 'complete.'
Shields said the university's only mistake was not acting quickly.
"But I didn't get the information until the letter went to (Tennessee Board of Regents) and the governor, and then I got copied and there was nothing we could do," Shields said.
And the report comes just two days after police took TSU professor Jane Davis away from a campus meeting in handcuffs, charging her with disorderly conduct. Davis has been an outspoken critic of TSU'S leadership and brought forth the allegations of grade fixing.
"I was just concerned about the reputation of the school," said parent John Norman.
Norman has a son starting his first year at TSU and said he hopes after several weeks of headlines, everyone can move on.
"I think they'll get the ship on the right track and do what they have to do," Norman said.
The committee report also gives TSU officials several recommendations on how they can better communicate in the future.
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