This past Saturday, December 14, Texas Southern University president Dr. John M. Rudley announced during the university’s Winter Commencement ceremony that he will be stepping down from his role as president at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 academic year.
During his announcement, Dr. Rudley thanked former Board Chairman Glenn O. Lewis for providing an opportunity for him to return to TSU in 2008 and for spearheading change and improvement. He also thanked his wife Docia for the support she has given him throughout his life and career as well as the Board of Regents who supported his decision making during contentious times. He plans to address the faculty, students, staff, and community partners in the coming months.
“When I arrived eight years ago, I always felt that I would come in with Obama and go out with him,” said Dr. Rudley. “Today, I know that my instincts were correct. I thank you all for your support during my time as president of Texas Southern University.”
In the interim, Dr. Rudley will continue to tackle urgent issues affecting the University and push for a few needed changes in preparation for his successor.
“On behalf of the TSU Board of Regents, I thank President Rudley for leading TSU for more than eight years,” said Board Chairman Derrick Mitchell. “He has served the University well.”
Over the coming weeks Chairman Mitchell will appoint a transition team and the University will hire a national search firm to work with Dr. Rudley in identifying his replacement.
Recent TSU graduate Jerry Ford Jr. said that he was shocked and saddened to hear that Dr. Rudley was stepping down, especially at his graduation.
“Dr. Rudley served Texas Southern University with class and honor,” said recent TSU graduate Jerry Ford Jr. “Hopefully TSU will take the immediate steps towards embracing its culture and tradition. I would like to see the next president continue to uphold TSU’s reputation of producing excellence while being one of the most prestigious HBCUs in the country.”
Longtime TSU supporter Georgia Provost said that she is concerned about the future of TSU without Dr. Rudley, but would continue to work hard for Houston’s only HBCU.
“I hate to see Dr. Rudley leave right now, when he has improved the university and because there is so much to be done,” said Provost. “As my visionary president, I would have liked to see him stay in order to make sure TSU remains independent, financially stable and reaches 16,000 students. I will continue to work hard and raise money for TSU.”
The Houston Forward Times will keep you up-to-date on the latest surrounding the search for TSU’s next president.