By: Bobby E. Mills, PhD
In 1973, TSU (Texas Southern University) was granted a “Special Purpose Institutional Designation” by the Texas Legislature for urban programming. This legislative designation afforded TSU avenues and resource acquisition opportunities for creative community development.
However, in 2022 TSU itself has invariably become a “A Special Case”, from a Policy oversight administrative prospective. Sadly, TSU is missing the mark of the high calling that was in Jesus Christ to love and serve others. TSU is surrounded by public school failures and educational chaos at both the elementary and high school levels. Yet, TSU has not been able to academically farm a new generation of first-class college ready students. Shameful! The question is why?
Chaos comes from miseducation (ref: Carter G. Woodson) and misinformation. Thus, TSU has become a “Special Case” without a visionary leadership perspective and community-development purposes. TSU must be about community institution building, and not just becoming a “paycheck-system” which is not an enduring purpose. Moreover, TSU must establish a more profound working relationship with HISD and its College of Education to provide a quality education at every level. Taxpayers must insist on a higher level of thinking, quality, and administrative management from TSU. The purpose of this editorial is not too run-down nor talk-down TSU, but to inspire “Excellence in Achievement” at TSU.
Recently, a news announcement appeared in the Houston Chronicle concerning a partnership program agreement between TSU’s Airway Science Program and United Airlines. There is a projected nationwide shortage of at least (120,000) airline pilots over the next 20 years. United Airlines on March 9, 2022, announced a 100,000-dollar partnership grant to TSU’s Airway Science Program for scholarship support for students in the Aviation and Technology Programs. What was puzzling about the high-profile announcement was the fact that of the three students initially shown with the Director of the Aviation Program none were Black. Although, later in the story the President is shown in a high profile embrace of a Black male student.
TSU is near three major High Schools: Jack Yates, Worthing, and Ross Sterling also known as Ross-Sterling Aviation High School, and Ross-Sterling has a viable functioning Aviation Program directed by Ms. Merrill Jones. Additionally, Ross-Sterling High School also has a working partnership and internship program with United Airlines at Bush Intercontinental. Out of curiosity, The Afro-American News wanted to know if TSU had a formalized structural pathway with Ross-Sterling for college admissions to its Airway Science Program. To our utter surprise the answer was NO. Even though, from time-to-time, Ms. Jones stated that TSU and Ross-Sterling interface with each other informally on special events, but there is no formalized structural pathway for college admissions.
Let’s hope that common-sense prevails, and that TSU will rethink its institution building community development strategies to begin to academically farm a new generation of college ready students, especially Black students. Flying airplanes is not rocket science, but it does take self-discipline, a high level of thinking, and the ability to think and function under pressure in order to develop a proficient/efficient pilot. Let’s pray that TSU becomes more disciplined in its public relations presentations. Amen!