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Jackson State to Cut Budget and Borrow Money to Aid Finances
Let me add, in addition to giving, this is a big one, folks in the state of MS need to organize and get out and vote for governor. As it currently stands, the governor appoints members to IHL!!! There should be a sense of urgency to ensure a viable candidate is chosen that will challenge Tate Reeves next year that will have the support of JSU. I digress for now.   
Call to arms from Dr. Paige
Dear Fellow Tiger:
When I returned to campus to begin serving as Interim President, I was struck by how wonderfully the campus had evolved and grown since my days as a student. It caused me to contemplate how my life has evolved and grown, due in many ways to Jackson State. I have had many fantastic opportunities to serve in the field of education, but this appointment was particularly close to my heart. I know that many of the doors that have opened for me would not have been possible if I had not first walked through the doors of Jackson State.
Jackson State has opened the doors of opportunity to many of us -doors that would have otherwise been closed. The JSU faculty and staff welcomed us and prepared us for the future, and to be the leaders we are today. When we faced obstacles and challenges, they helped us to overcome them. As alums, we have been helped immensely by Jackson State University. This university is a special place, but it is now facing challenges.
I want you, as fellow alums, to be fully informed and aware of our situation. The same university that afforded opportunities for us, the university we love, is now facing critical challenges. For the past few years, when the university's accounts payable exceeded its accounts receivables, cash reserve funds were available and could be used to fill the gap. This practice depleted the cash reserves. Now, as the University accounts payable exceed the accounts receivable, cash reserves are not available to fill the gap. This creates a dire situation, and immediate action must be taken.
As alums, we have an opportunity to give back and help our university overcome these challenges. I'm asking you to join me in an urgent fundraising campaign to help put Jackson State back on financially sound footings.
When I arrived at JSU in November, my early assumption was that the university's primary problem centered on the fact that the cash reserves had been spent down. As I began investigating the matter, I discovered that the university's problem was much deeper than that. The issue was much more serious than it first appeared because the problem involved both spent down cash reserves, as well as across-the-board spending practices that exceeded university income.
These challenges have been widely reported, as you can see from these news reports:
Jackson State Cash Reserves Down $33 Million in Four Years
HBCU Digest - October 20, 2016
IHL Board: JSU has enough cash reserves to operate for just over a week
WJTV - October 20, 2016
IHL investigates potential financial crisis at Jackson State
Mississippi Today - October 20, 2016
Is JSU Broke?
Jackson Jambalaya - October 20, 2016
College Board hires firm to inspect JSU finances
The Clarion Ledger - October 20, 2016
JSU Interim President Rod Paige looks to cut expenses
The Clarion Ledger - January 21, 2016
Links to these articles are available at the end of this letter.
One other news item you might have seen recently is a settlement agreement Jackson State reached with the Department of Justice related to a National Science Foundation audit that occurred ten years ago. These reports can be misleading in two areas. First, let me say emphatically that Jackson State University has in no way mismanaged federal grant funds. The actual problem came in lack of time and effort reporting, which boils down to not completing time cards while working on grant projects. There should also be no concern over how the settlement amount will be paid. It will be paid from an insurance pool that is managed at the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. It will in no way have an immediate impact on our cash reserves or operating budget.
A second round of state budget cuts were announced last week, which further complicates the situation. During this fiscal year, we have received a 3.3% budget reduction in state appropriations, equating to a cumulative reduction of $1.3 million through two rounds of cuts. This makes it very difficult to meet our financial obligations.
This is a serious situation, but with your help we can overcome this. There are only two solutions for this problem -decrease spending and increase funding.
To decrease spending, we are in the process of instituting spending cuts, being careful not to harm the university's prime mission. Some measures already taken include instituting a hiring freeze and placing controls on travel and other selected spending.
To increase funding, we are organizing approaches to foundations, philanthropic organizations, and vendors that do business with the university. We need to raise $5 million in short order.
Finally, now that you understand how difficult the challenge is, I hope you will join hands with me in helping our university to overcome this challenge. This situation is urgent, and it requires an urgent request for an urgent response. Therefore, I am asking each JSU alum, and former students, to help us in our fundraising efforts.
I understand many of you have been generous in your support of JSU through JSUNAA fundraising efforts in the past, and your support is greatly appreciated. But this is a special request for help during a critical university situation. This should not impede your continued giving through the JSUNAA. This is a special personal request asking you to go beyond what you are already doing and respond to this current situation.
Our faculty and staff have stepped up to do their part in addressing this urgent need. Through the Yearly Employee Support (Y.E.S.) campaign, employees have contributed $46,000 in the year to date. You, as alumni, can join the cause and make your mark in ensuring JSU remains a beacon of higher education both nationally and globally.
As a student at Jackson State University, I learned the importance of leading by example, as I am certain many of you did, so I want to be the first to step forward with a contribution of $10,000.
We are all members of this tremendous Jackson State family and I know each one of you wants to help our alma mater in any way you can. I therefore ask each JSU alum for a contribution of $100. If you are able to contribute more or are unable to contribute that much, please contribute what you can. I ask each alum to give something. Every little bit helps our university continue to serve our students the way the university served us.

To make a contribution online, click here.

If you would like to mail your donation, please send to:
JSU Development Foundation
Post Office Box 17144
Jackson, MS 39217

To read the articles referred to earlier, open the URLs below.
Thank you for your support,
Rod Paige
Interim President
Jackson State University
Class of 1955
Development Officer advertisement for Athletics on JSU's hr site!

For all those interested with good fundraising ideas or even the person holding a fundraising event in the Houston area, here's an opportunity: 

Development Officer - Division of Athletics

Position Details


Position Information


Posting NumberS00685P
Position TitleDevelopment Officer - Division of Athletics
DepartmentInstitutional Advancement
Grant FundedNo
LocationMain Campus
Faculty or StaffStaff
Number of Vacancies1
Desired start date12/01/2016
Position Summary

The Development Officer will be responsible for direct fund-raising, resource-raising, and friend-raising for Intercollegiate Athletics. Consistent with the strategic goals of the university, the Development Officer will be responsible for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts prospects of $10,000 or more. The Development Officer will work closely with the Athletic Director, the athletic administrative staff, coaches, individuals of wealth and influence, the Tiger Fund, university, and alumni leadership to implement a cultivation and solicitation plan.



Minimum Required Education

Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, Public Relations, Communication or related field.

Minimum Required Experience

Three to five (3-5) years of fund-raising experience is preferred. Experience in higher education fundraising is desirable. In lieu of direct fund-raising experience, the development officer may have successful experience in sales and/or marketing, or other management positions that require working with individuals or organizations to accomplish institutional objectives.

Minimum Required Licenses and/or Certifications


Preferred Qualifications


Skills and Abilities

Skills and Abilities:
1. Must demonstrate the ability to work effectively, independently and as team; and have a high degree of professionalism and personal motivation.

2. Outstanding oral, written and interpersonal
communications skills, including effective presentation skills.

3. Ability to communicate clearly and succinctly through telephone, email and written communications.

4. Effective use of mobile computing devices and Microsoft Office applications.

5. Ability to work evenings and weekends.

6. The development officer must have effective communication skills (writing and speaking) to make individual and group presentations to prospective donors.

7. Must be a good listener to understand customers’ needs, both internally and externally; and proactively respond to those needs in a consistent and timely manner.

8. He/she must have strong interpersonal skills to develop and maintain relationships with internal and external constituents.

9. Must be knowledgeable of gift planning techniques to advise donors and prospects on available giving options and techniques and their tax implications.

10. He/she must be an effective planner and able to manage time and multiple concurrent tasks; and must be able to react and adapt to changing situations appropriately.

11. He/she must be personable, supportive, sensitive and able to exercise solid, independent judgment while representing the ideals and goals of the department and university.

12. Must be able to use a personal computer with basic word processing and other applications; and have an understanding of computer databases.

13. The development officer must be able to travel occasionally, and must be able to work some evenings and weekends.

1. Responsible for securing major gift support for the Division of Athletics, annual giving, planned giving, capital projects, athletic scholarships, and facility renovations/improvements.

2. Identify prospects capable of making major or leadership gifts of $10,000 or more; and close gifts to support their assigned fundraising goal.

3. Oversee and execute the “Building Champions” capital campaign to include development and execution of a comprehensive strategy and plan that is clear, consistent and has demonstrable outcomes/established goals based on direction from the Campaign Chair and Committee, the Athletic Director and Development Director for Institutional Advancement.

4. Coordinate annual season ticket sales and solicitations.

5. Plan and create effective annual giving communication and direct mail solicitations within specific marketing segments such as Tiger Fund, Blue Bengal, Season Ticket supporters, and alumni athletes.

6. Assist Athletic Director and help identify, contact, and solicit participation of members of the business community in athletic activities, advisory boards, and other events.

7. As a part of “Moves Management,” prepare and implement strategic plans for approximately 120-150 targeted prospects to cultivate and solicit them for major gifts to fund athletic priorities and contact prospects via telephone, email and other methods to secure one-on-one, face-to-face visits or tours of athletic facilities

8. Meet annual/monthly goals for new prospects identified, contacts (“moves”), number of asks, number of closures, and dollars raised.

9. Serve as a dual report to the Athletic Director and the Director for Development.

10. Participate fully in Athletics and Development meetings (staff, committee, etc.), events and trainings.

11. Document all development activities for accountability and assessment in the Banner Moves Management system.

12. Prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals to foundation and corporation sources within Athletics, Divisional and university guidelines.

13. Maintain stewardship contacts with donors, adhere to the highest ethical standards, reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity and intent of the donors.

14. Meet weekly/monthly with Athletic Director to discuss strategic approach to outreach activities; and provide a report of cultivation, meetings and outreach activities.

15. Participate in university activities and special events to establish and maintain collaborative relationships and to network and promote athletics and the university to internal and external constituents.

16. Travel with Athletics in support of its fundraising efforts, including occasional nights and weekends. Required to regularly attend athletic competitions, both home and away.

17. Performs other duties as assigned.

Posting Detail Information


EEO Statement

Jackson State University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified
applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Background Check Statement

Jackson State University is committed to providing a safe campus. JSU conducts background checks for applicants being considered for employment. Background checks include reference checks, criminal history/record check and when appropriate a credit report or driving history report.

Open Date10/04/2016
Close Date 
Open Until Filled (overrides close field)Yes
Special Instructions to Applicants
JSU foundation audit shows thousands in undocumented expenses
Response from Chair of JSU Development Foundation:

Dear Friends of JSU:
Although good news does not spread fast and newspaper sales are not what they used to be, it is still highly problematic to sensationalize a story that could affect philanthropic giving to Jackson State University (JSU) or a person's decision to attend the institution.
Over the past week, several articles have been circulated in The Clarion-Ledger saying that a 2014 report requested by IHL indicated that personnel used credit cards for personal use. First, let me say that this is old news documented back in 2014. I want to assure our constituents that at no time were any funds managed by the Foundation in jeopardy, nor was the Foundation ever derailed from carrying out its intended purpose, which is to support the university and help students afford to attend JSU. Credit cards were discontinued and since 2014, no staff or any personnel have been issued credit cards by the Foundation.
Most importantly, I would like to point out a critical fact: the report NEVER accused anyone of theft, nor was any theft detected. It suggested only that better internal controls needed to be in place. Therefore, the Directors responded appropriately, handled the matter efficiently and moved expeditiously. Tighter policies and procedures were implemented over the past two years with no further incidents.  
I inherited two distinct honors when I was elected board chair in December 2015. One was succeeding the legendary Leland Speed, who had served on the board for decades and as chair until his retirement in November 2015. The other honor was working with the board of directors to strengthen checks and balances and ensure proper system controls. Over the past year, board members have examined and rewritten bylaws as well as implemented nearly a dozen new policies and procedures. The Directors will continue to further implement these safeguards.
One of the primary roles of any college or university foundation is to raise funds for the university. In Mississippi, all universities have foundations, not only to support fundraising, but friend-raising, host special events and supplement academic and athletic programs that cannot be achieved through the University. More often than not, in an effort to inspire donors to invest, this requires incurring various expenses that the university itself may not have the flexibility to pay, and such is the case with our Foundation. Unfortunately, during the period covered by the report, sometimes personnel failed to turn in receipts and/or reports on related expenses in a timely manner. That's why the Foundation now have more strict controls in place, including requirements for detailed reporting.
JSU, the fourth-largest HBCU in the nation, designated by Carnegie Foundation as a higher-research intensive university, is also recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for innovation, leadership and educational excellence. The list goes on and on. All who care about our beloved university, please don't be deceived by what is written. Take a good look for yourselves at JSU. Visit the university and see with your own eyes what great things are happening on campus. If you genuinely love and care about Jackson State, continue to talk about the positive news and give to support its mission.
The JSUDF offers its assurance and commitment of stewardship and transparency. I ask you to remain united and resolute to Jackson State University.
Alfred Martin
Chair, JSUDF Board of Directors
JSU-Clarion Ledger article.
President's response to article:  
JSU-Clarion Ledger article.
That's my main point is that the CL didn't do a story about all the firings at USM only about JSU.  Every organization hires and fires people all the time true, however, most organizations don't have a write-up in the state's largest newspaper and featured prominently online for almost a week or more.  It doesn't look good and documented for public consumption. To me it is a PR nightmare.  Also, I did bring in the legislature, because at the end of the day, they are one part that control the money and who gets what.  Since JSU is a publicly funded institution, she can't just magically do things using tax payer money, they have to get approved by IHL, which gets the money for you guessed it the Legislature.  I never said that the legislature had anything to do with the hiring and firing of personnel. However, they can influence appropriations.  Look at the dome situation.   As far as potential donors on the outside, think of this as an example,  if you have two exceptional candidates and only one spot, you are going to look for anything you can to distinguish the two.  As a university you want to raise as much money and support as possible. No stone should go unturned.  I have no issues with Meyers, and think she is doing a good job as president.  The only stake I have is giving back and supporting any way I can if I have the means. But, if I see something that is wrong or doesn't look or sound right, I am going to speak out about it.  This is one forum to do it, since we know someone from the university read these posts or get back to the administration.      
JSU-Clarion Ledger article.
And the state legislature, college board, and more importantly potential big donors to the university look at that as well.  To me it is not a good look if you are on the outside looking in.
JSU-Clarion Ledger article.
Wow Houston,

What pull do you have?  LOL!!! When I was on campus a couple of months ago, I had to sign in at the security desk,show id and have it scanned, take a picture, and get a visitor's pass just to get into the Admin tower and that was just to get to the 7th floor in the provost office to visit some of the staff still there, where I worked as a graduate assistance.  So the next time I go up there, I will definitely name drop. LOL!!!

But in all seriousness, the growth of the university and thinking is fine, but at the end of the day a couple of outcomes have to be achieved. 
-How many students are completing requirements to graduate
-How many of your students are gainfully employed
-How many students stop/drop out

As a higher ed professional currently in NC, the administration at the university where I work, in any project that we start, we have to be able to show how projects help student outcomes.    
New Way of Thinking
One of the questions that I  have   is why is Dr. Fuller still there?  It appears she should have been let go after  the APR  situation  was cleared up. That to me is the only thing she got right.  Too much baggage and negative press for any organization. Anywhere else that person would be gone in a heartbeat.  I   am skeptical  of  Big Wheel, but will give him a chance to see what he will do to move the athletic  department  forward.  Would like to see if they have a campaign  for setting  a goal for season tickets sometime in January  during SWAC  basketball  season and constant promotion during spring, summer, and fall.  In addition, I  hope he will be more open to the public than the previous two ADs.  Give clear and concise goals you want to achieve, the support will be there.
JSU-Clarion Ledger article.
I think we all knew that there were issues at JSU, but I didn't realize it was this bad.  Too much negative press for me.  Please read for yourselves:  The next question I will raise, where do we go from here.  I for one await a response from the president. Did the president piss someone off at the C-L?
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