Is TSU An Ebony Tower?

By: Bobby E. Mills, PhD

TSU was created to serve the Black community March 3, 1947. In 1973 the 63rd Legislature designated TSU as a Special Purpose Institution of higher learning for urban programming. In 2022, TSU is struggling to maintain its independence and not be placed in a University System. The question is WHY? First and foremost, TSU is too personality driven, rather than policy and procedure driven. Consequently, TSU is plagued by poor quality control performance measures: student recruitment and retention rates, graduation rates, faculty dedication to excellence in achievement, and alumni giving. A university is known by the intellectual capacity and employment capacity of the students they graduate.

TSU does not have a professional tracking system of their graduates, and they need such a system. Unfortunately, TSU does not have an effective professional student recruitment programmatic platform, and they need one. Question: has TSU become an Ebony Tower for a few Black professionals and foreign elites, rather than a holistic community institution building process for the Black community? Effective student services require a quality professional male and female respectively as directors of student services. These professionals should report directly to the Office of the Provost.

Recently, it was publicly reported that TSU laid-off at least (100) middle management level and staff employees. The obvious reason is budgetary: cost saving measures, because of lack of student enrollment. This is not a faculty teaching quality problem. It is a recruitment and registration problem because these entities must work in administrative tandem with each other. TSU needs a specialized community college recruitment program, and a specialized scholarship recruitment program for the top (30) high school graduates across the state.

Unwisely, TSU has hired at-least (12) senior level administrators at a salary level of over 200,000 dollars each. Administrators cannot solve TSU’s educational ills; only faculty and students working together as partners committed to Excellence in Achievement can right the educational ills that are plaguing TSU. Effective Administration is necessary, especially Deans and Department Heads. Every effective university must have a high quality, Provost. Universities and colleges exit for purposes of teaching and learning. Senior level administrators teach no courses. Moreover, Texas State institutions of higher education operating budgets are primarily based upon student enrollment. To meet its operating budgetary obligations TSU needs an enrollment of at least 8,000 students. TSU probably has 6,000 plus enrollment.

Whites have their intellectual “Ivory Towers”, and they can afford the luxury. The Black community cannot afford the luxury of having an elitist “Ebony Tower”, because with Blacks equal is equal, not more or less equal. To transform itself into a first-class institution of higher learning TSU must rededicate, repurpose and expand upon its designated Special Purpose Mission. More importantly, TSU must resist the ego-tripping and demonic forces of self-service, because: “what life do we have if we do not have life together?” Amen.


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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

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Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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