Renaissance of Excellence





Renaissance of Excellence


Texas Southern University has embarked on a historic transformation to move the institution into the foreground of major urban-serving universities. The TSU Board of Regents launched the new direction with the hiring of Dr. John M. Rudley in February 2008. 

Today a dramatic renaissance is occurring at Texas Southern University. The administrative and academic departments are changing, and the outstanding traditions and positive legacies of Texas Southern are being renewed.



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Major Milestones Achieved


Administrative Initiatives


1.    Changed the entire senior administrative leadership within all departments, including Provost, VP Finance; VP Operations; VP Student Affairs; VP Advancement; General Counsel; Athletics Director; Human Resources; Chief of Police; Facilities; and Grounds.

2.    Taken off probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the start of the normal 10-year reaffirmation process.

3.    Provided an administrative recovery and action plan to the LBB, Governor and others to receive $13 million in contingency funds appropriated to assist TSU.

4.    Developed a balanced budget for each year (2009-2011) with a growing reserve.

5.    Received clean audits for past three years.

6.    Achieved three increases from Moody’s Bond rating for TSU including a two-level increase in summer 2010.

7.    Managed a successful Legislative Session in 2009 resulting in additional support for TSU, including legislative support for the operation of parking garages.


8.    Led the university through Hurricane Ike, and recovery efforts and coordination with FEMA resulting in the reimbursement of $38 million in damage to the campus.

9.    Rehabilitated the University’s facilities.

a.    Sterling Student Center

b.    Sawyer Auditorium

c.    Plaza

d.    Landscaping and Grounds improvement

Created a University Staff Council to involve non-faculty employees in the decision-making processes of the University.

Established a Division Business Managers operation with each college and division at the University now supported by a business manager to ensure best business practices.

Re-engaging the philanthropic community to invest in the programs and student at Texas Southern, particularly in raising funds for scholarships.

a.    Start of the President’s Leadership Scholarship with matching funds—30 raised

b.    $1 million pledge from Dr. Kase Lawal, largest alumni gift in TSU history

c.    $1.2 million renewal of pledge from Brown Foundation

Instituted an extremely successful Faculty/Staff annual fund campaign in 2010 with 70% participation, including 100% from senior administration, regents, and foundation board members. This is one of the highest percentages of internal support of any university in the country.

Academic Initiatives

1.    Instituted of minimum admission requirements: 2.0 GPA and 16 ACT or 850 SAT.

2.    Expanded Honors Program into the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College

a.    200+ students recruited since 2009 with 3.6 GPA and higher

3.    Created the Student Academic Enhancement Services area to pull together a new student testing, advising, counseling, retention, mentoring model, including the expanded Summer Academy and developmental coursework.

Brought in new deans for College of Science and Technology; College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences; Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Graduate School; Continuing and Distance Education

Undertaking search for deans in Jesse H. Jones School of Business; and Thomas F. Freeman Honors College

6.    Developing the Urban Academic Village concept to re-invigorate the undergraduate student experience, particularly for at-risk freshmen and sophomores.

a.    Will involve re-designed residence halls to include faculty and staff counselors/mentors on site 24/7.

b.    Will expand student services and activities across campus

7.    Launched groundbreaking partnership between Texas Southern University and the Port of Houston Authority to create a new Maritime Transportation Management and Security program at Texas Southern with a commitment of $2 million from the Port of Houston Authority. The first students enrolled in fall 2010.

8.    Created a new Center for Online Education and Instructional Technology to provide infrastructure that will manage the growth of online courses.

9.    Launched three (3) online master’s degree opportunities

a.    Online Executive MBA, which is the first at any HBCU

b.    Online Master’s of Public Administration

c.    Online Master’s of Curriculum and Instruction in Bilingual Education

Leading a partnership with Tom Joyner’s new online HBCU program promoting online degrees to compete with University of Phoenix and other for-profit universities.


Expanding health sciences programs in the Texas Medical Center, including a new partnership with Houston Community College and the TSU College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to facilitate transfer of Pharmacy Tech students into the College.

Continued support of diversity efforts in the Thurgood Marshall School of Law resulting in the #1 ranking in US News & World Report for law school diversity for the fifth year running.

Launched first Texas Southern payload on Shuttle Mission STS 120 with experiment developed by students in biology program.

Expanded academic programs to highest growth areas of Houston community, opening a new facility in Northwest Houston in partnership with Lone Star College.

Student Initiatives

1.    Increased student recruiting in Houston, across the state and in targeted areas in the country, including recruiting by the President of top students from Texas, California, Michigan and community colleges in Houston.

a.    Expanding these efforts in Louisiana and the Texas Valley.

b.    Diversifying student recruitment efforts

       i.    Reaching out to Hispanic, Asian American and Anglo students;

2.    Working toward all freshmen living on campus.

3.    Changed the bookstore provider from Follett to Barnes and Nobles (currently one of the most attractive and best performing bookstores in the region).

a.    Launched faculty initiative to ensure that students receive books on time. 

4.    Increased student activities, particularly for residential students and those from outside Houston, including taking groups of students to Astros and Texans games, to the museums and other cultural offerings in Houston.

5.    Increased Houston awareness and involvement with Homecoming

a.    Downtown Parade

b.    Outstanding Alumni Awards Event

6.    Provided more funding for the athletic program through student support of a new athletic fee approved by the Legislature.

7.    Provided enhanced food services and variety on campus including new vendors (like Wild Wings) in the student center, and expanded food services across the campus (Law School grill, Einstein Bagel) and other upgraded food service operations for students, faculty and staff.

8.    Renovated Sterling Student Center creating much improved entrance and gathering space and repairing and re-opening the students’ bowling alley.

9.    Expanded library hours and services greatly increasing the students’ usage of both online and on site library usage.

Launched Josh McMackle TIGER project to train and connect 200+ mentors to incoming freshmen and provide a Leadership speakers’ series throughout the year focusing on personal responsibility and leadership for all students.

a.    Speakers have included actor Idris Elba, Washington commentator Jeff Johnson, actor Sheryl Lee Ralph, and others.

In August 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Athletic Certification fully certified the TSU athletics program with no conditions.

Developed partnership between the Houston Dynamo and TSU Football for a new $40 million, 22,000-seat stadium that will be located on Dowling Street and Texas Avenue. The new facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012 as the home of Tiger Football.

Implementing “GRADES FIRST” an academic tracking system for student athletes. A pilot program is running this fall. The program will be completely active for the spring semester 2011. It will track academic progress, study hall and progress reports.

Increased the number of laptop and desktop computers that are available to student-athletes in the academic enhancement center in the HPE Arena.

Identifying and training one advisor from each school selected by the dean to advise all student-athletes in their major.

Reorganized athletics compliance with the hiring of a Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, Director of Compliance and Academic Certifying Officer.

Secured over $500,000 through corporate partnerships for the 2010-2011 year to help support the athletics programs.   All corporate partners from last year renewed for the 2010-2011 year. Obtained three new corporate partners for the 2010-2011 sports year; Silver Eagle Distributors, United States Coast Guard, KTSU-90.0 FM.  

Facilities/Administrative Initiatives


1.    Developing a facilities master plan to create a campus that supports student learning and is a welcome and inviting location for students, alumni, and visitors.

2.    Beginning construction of new $31 million Technology Building

3.    Developing 21st century Library facilities to support our student, faculty, and research needs, with special emphasis on garnering legislative support in 2011 Session.

4.    Developing residential housing plan to support up to 50 percent of students living on campus.

5.    Streamlining and simplifying all student business operations including recruitment, enrollment, financial aid, and bill payment.

a.    Centralizing all operations within academic operations

b.    Pulling all registration functions to central site to allow one-stop shopping for students

6.    Developed and instituted 105 University Policies and Procedures to ensure best practices in all administrative areas.

7.    Moved the University from a 100% privatized information technology operation to a more balanced and responsible system with 50% of the operation managed through Texas Southern to support student and faculty needs and University business functions.

8.    Implementing a campus beautification program to provide a more modern, safe and academically conducive environment for students, perspective students and faculty.  

Outreach Initiatives

1.    Hosted MSNBC for national 2-hour program on Obama’s Presidency after one year. Garnered largest African-American audience in MSNBC history, reaching 80 million people worldwide.

2.    Re-engaging alumni to support Texas Southern both financially and actively for student recruitment and mentoring, community programs.

3.    Partnering with TSU National Alumni Association to increase participation and affinity chapters with six new chapters planned for 2011.


4.    Reviewed and revised the history of Texas Southern University, reaching back to the origins of Houston Colored Junior College, founded in 1927.

a.    Celebrated this more complete history at the first Founders’ Day where Jeff Johnson, Washington commentator, spoke to TSU students about responsibility for leadership and for making a mark with their lives.

b.    Thurgood Marshall Law School celebrated the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Sweatt v. Painter with a national symposium on this historic lawsuit that resulted in 1947 with the state creating the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and chartering the then Houston College for Negroes to become the first state university in Houston:  Texas Southern University.