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JSU’s Interim President Rod Paige delivers solid message at forum                                      December 8, 2016 in Education, News

‘JSU must improve its image’

By Othor Cain

Contributing Writer

JSU Interim President Rod Paige speaks to guests at coffee forum, Dec. 2. PHOTOS BY KEVIN BRADLEY

With a standing room only crowd at Koinonia Coffeehouse in Jackson last Friday, Jackson State University’s interim president and former U.S. Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush, Rod Paige, took to the mic to explain his vision for JSU, even though its [his vision] only temporary.

Paige shared his belief that JSU must get beyond the financial controversy it finds itself in and position itself to attract a top quality leader. “We must improve the image of our university and I believe that we can do that, Paige told the crowd. “We must put this financial issue to bed, that’s the only way we will get a good leader and good faculty members…we must fix our image.”

Paige began his tenure as president of JSU in November, after the resignation of Carolyn Meyers in late October amid alleged unauthorized spending and other budgetary concerns. At the time of her resignation, it was revealed that JSU’s cash reserves had plummeted by 89 percent in the last five years, landing at $4.2 million for the 2016 fiscal year that ended in the fall.

Meyers’ time at JSU has been riddled with compliments and complaints. To the criticism end, Meyers had been questioned heavily about the number of people who resigned or was terminated under her leadership and the large number of lawsuits leveled against the university, particularly those that included Vivian Fuller, a close friend of hers and former athletic director. To the accolades during Meyers time at JSU, the university received a number of praises for the reports of record enrollment and the school being named an Apple Distinguished School for 2013-15. Meyers was also named the Historic Black Colleges and Universities Digest’s Female President of the Year in 2014. Paige said he planned to introduce new policies and ensure that policies that are currently on the books are followed.

“Since I’ve been here, one of the biggest problems that I’ve found so far is that there are people that are not following policy and we want to change that,” he shared. Paige suggested that the financial hiccup JSU is experiencing isn’t fatal. “We can get past this if we take our medicine,” he said. “It is my job to ensure that the medicine that I equate to policy is taken or followed. If you don’t take your medicine as prescribed by the doctor, your chances for healing diminishes…as such if you don’t follow policy as set forth by the university and its governing authority, your chances for survival at JSU diminishes.”

With charter schools and school choice being new to Mississippi, one question from an audience member focused on Paige’s position on ‘school choice.’ “I’ve always supported that and I make no bones about it, students deserve a choice,” he added. Paige, a former superintendent of public schools in Houston also shared his belief that the money should follow the student. “I think that is necessary so that schools are equipped…if the student moves, the money should move,” he said. Paige said he planned to reach out to the Jackson Public Schools District and build on the relationship that exists. “I think it is a must, we must ensure this relationship is healthy and strong,” he shared. “JPS is a feeder district to JSU.”


Thanks for sharing!
Good read.
Letter from Yolanda Owens, JSUNAA Pres.

Thank you for choosing to be positively involved and actively engaged in efforts to secure the legacy of Jackson State University! Your voices are being heard. 
As previously mentioned, the executive leadership of JSUNAA has been in constant contact with University leadership over the past several weeks. As the conversations continue, JSU and JSUNAA are working collaboratively toward open and transparent communication efforts during this time of transition.
Yesterday, during my conversation with Interim President Paige and key staff, Dr. Paige indicated that:
  • No decisions have been made regarding enrollment strategies
  • Information is forthcoming regarding the University's financial plan
  • The current area of focus is the University's internal operations
  • Alumni voices will be heard and acknowledged throughout the process.
Another conversation is scheduled for next week and we will continue working to increase communication and engagement among all stakeholders, recognizing that this will be the most important strategy in building our power, increasing our visibility, and ensuring that JSU continues to thrive.
Thank you again for your steadfast commitment to our dear old college home. #TheeILove
With Tiger Pride,
And there's this, girls and guys:

From the JSUNAA

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has issued a call for nominations for members of the Jackson State University Campus Search Advisory Committee.
Representatives from all stakeholder groups, including students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community are needed on the committee.
The deadline for recommendations for members of the Campus Search Advisory Committee is Tuesday, January 17, 2017.  

Nominations may be submitted via an online form at or by mailing a letter of recommendation to ATTN: JSU Campus Search Advisory Committee, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211.

Both self-nominations and nominations of fellow members of the JSU campus community are encouraged.

Members of the Campus Search Advisory Committee will be asked to attend in-person meetings, participate in conference calls, and review materials through a secure website.

According to Board of Trustees Policy 201.0509 D, members must provide assurances that "they have not formed any opinion as to the identity of the particular person that should be selected as the IEO, that they have no personal, professional or other relationship with any person that they understand may be a candidate that would impair their objectivity in fairly considering all candidates, that they will endeavor to remain open to considering all persons that apply in a fair and unbiased manner, and that they will not agree with any person to advocate or campaign for the selection of any particular candidate."

For more information and to track progress on the presidential search, visit the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning's Web site at and through Twitter @MSPublicUniv and @JSU_Search.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.
And there's this, girls and guys:

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