Dr. Annie Rene Harris Slaughter is a JSU alum and Yazoo County native who now lives in Atlanta. She wants to make sure every student has an opportunity to succeed. Her endowment aims to help undergraduates with college expenses.

JACKSON, MS – Dr. Annie Rene Harris Slaughter earned three degrees from Jackson State University, and now she established a $100,000 endowment in memory of her mother – also an alum – to help undergraduates pursue their academic dreams at their alma mater. Funds will be matched by Title III, according to a press released by the university.

Harris Slaughter, a native of Yazoo County, currently resides in Atlanta. She said Rosetta Tolbert Harris Endowed Scholarships would help defray expenses for eligible candidates. Funds will pay for tuition, textbooks, supplies and other fees included in the cost of education.

“My mother started teaching around 1928. She liked school a lot. She felt that you should have a college education even if you don’t use it for anything but to fall back on. She was particularly concerned about children who lived in rural areas, where she chose to teach,” said Harris Slaughter, who recalled a doctor’s attempted to persuade her grandmother to keep her daughter (Harris Slaughter’s mother) from going back to school.

“He told my grandmother that going to school was the reason my mother head kept hurting,” said Harris Slaughter. “But my mother preserved.” Her grandmother would eventually support her daughter’s decision to go back to school.

Harris Slaughter earned her bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree from JSU and her doctorate from Indiana University in elementary and early childhood education. She was a longtime elementary teacher in Jackson and taught briefly at IU, Kentucky State and Western Kentucky University. She retired from Atlanta Public School in 2004. She said the endowment is a fitting tribute because her mother “loved helping children and parents in rural areas that other neglected. She was “no nonsense,” but some of her students were household names because her mother spoke about them so often.

Early on, Harris Slaughter described JSU as the “best state school in Mississippi.” She said, “JSU laid the foundation for everything that I w as to become.” She added, “At this point in my life, I want to assist some high school graduates who would not otherwise consider college an an option. I want to make sure young people have an opportunity.”

Also, she said, “When they become actively involved in campus life they will be more apt to go out in the world and become leaders.”

She said her life can be summed up in the words of a song by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson: “If I can help somebody… my living shall not be in vain.”

To be eligible, scholarship candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an undergraduate student attending Jackson State University
  • Reside in a residence hall on campus
  • Participate in one or more campus-life organizations
  • Maintain a 2.00 GPA or above
  • Be an African-American first-generation college student
  • Be a resident of Yazoo County in Mississippi (priority will be given to students who attended Linwood Elementary School)

Harris Slaughter’s desire now is to see more people support JSU through endowments and scholarships – especially since many African-American leaders graduated from HBCUs.

“People don’t need a handout as much as they need a hand-up,” she said.

Dr. Roderick “Rod” Paige will serve as Interim President for Jackson State University as of Nov. 7.

JACKSON, MS – The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning has named former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige as interim president of Jackson State University on Tuesday, Nov. 1. He will step into the role on Nov. 7.

Dr. Glenn Boyce, IHL commissioner, said, “Jackson State University is a tremendous university. We are in a time of transition. … Dr. Paige has been an educator for life. As a man of stature, this speaks volumes about his love and passion for this university. I’m appreciative that Dr. Page would come forward to serve.”

Boyce said as part of the change the first priority would be to address financial matters, an issues that Paige, who’s coming out of retirement, said he would get a better understanding of after his arrival from Houston, where he currently resides. Jackson State University has played an important role in Dr. Paige story and now he has come home to serve his institution that opened the door to many opportunities that followed.

IHL also named Dr. Evelyn J. Leggette, provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at JSU, as acting president until Paige arrives.

“On behalf of the senior leadership, alumni, faculty, staff and students we welcome our outstanding alumnus Rod Paige back to his ‘dear old college home,’ and we look forward to working with him in his role as interim president of Jackson State University.” said Dr. Evelyn J. Leggette. “Jackson State University, has a long distinguished history of providing the best education possible to an excellent student body, with a world class faculty and staff, and more than 40,000 alums serving in various position on the local, state, regional, national and international levels.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Paige as we continue to prepare students to become global leaders through our more than 90 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs; develop more innovative degree and non-degree offerings throughout our six campuses; offer a variety of student engagement and living and learning programs and enhance and build on the success of the university in teaching, research and service.”

Paige, who earned a bachelor’s degree from JSU, succeeds Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers, who resigned last week. In 2001, he became the nation’s seventh top U.S. education official and first African-American in the role after being nominated by President George W. Bush. He oversaw and helped implement the administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. Upon taking office, Dr. Paige learned of wide-scale criminal fraud, waste and abuse within the Department and made improving management one of his priorities, creating the Blueprint for Management Excellence to streamline operation and provide strategic direction, resources and focus for the agency.

Now, Paige becomes only the fourth interim president in the history of JSU, which was founded in 1877. The Monticello, Miss., native and Navy veteran had formerly served as head football coach at JSU from 1964-1968 and was inducted into the JSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. Paige, along with wife Stephanie Nellons-Paige, recently served as honorary chairs of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association’s (JSUNAA) Black Tie Scholarship and Recognition Gala.

For 10 years, Dr. Paige served as the Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, a comprehensive metropolitan historically black university in Houston that serves more than 9,000 students. While at Texas Southern, Dr. Paige established the university’s Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related on instruction and management in urban school systems.

During his tenure at Texas Southern, Dr. Paige was elected to serve as a trustee and officer of the Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District. In 1994, he left TSU to become superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, which was the nation’s seventh largest school district at the time. Lauded for his innovative approach, Dr. Paige was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 2001.

IHL will begin the search process for a permanent president at its November board meeting, which is expected to take five to seven months.

For more information, view IHL press release here.



Photo creds: http://www.jsumsnews.com/?p=20428.

JACKSON, MS –  Jackson State University President Dr. Carolyn Meyers has resigned, effective November 1, 2016.

The resignation was officially announced Tuesday evening by Jackson State which is a historically black university located in Jackson, Mississippi. The Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Glenn Boyce accepted Meyers’ letter of resignation on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

“We  appreciate Dr. Meyers’ service to Jackson State University and wish her well in future endeavors.” said Boyce in a press release.

Meyers’ resignation comes after JSU’s finance issues hit the media, discovering that JSU’s cash reserves have plummeted 89 percent in the last five years, landing at $4.2 million for the 2017 fiscal year that ended in the fall.

According to a source, Meyers was not present at the recent IHL board of trustees meeting held last Thursday following by shutting down rumors of her employment status at JSU.

“Contrary to one of the deans, I was not escorted off the campus (Tuesday, October 18). Amazing to me how creative some are,” Meyers said in an email sent out on October 19th to JSU staff members.

The IHL states that an interim president will be named and a timeline for the presidential search will be announced soon.

“Students remain our top priority,” said Dr. Boyce. “We are confident that Jackson State will move forward and continue to be an excellent institution and source of pride for students, faculty and alumni.”

Jackson State University serves as a Thurgood Marshall College Fund member-school and is classified under the Carnegie Classification of Institution of Higher Education as a research university with high research activity. Meyers’ was named HBCU Female President of the Year by HBCU Digest in 2014.

Meyers’ contract was set to expire on June 30, 2018. She served as president of JSU since 2011.

Source:  http://www.wapt.com/article/jsu-president-dr-carolyn-meyers-quits/7277020.