|Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan announced today
that Dr. Portia Holmes Shields, former president of Albany State
University, will serve as interim president of Tennessee State
University beginning Jan. 2.
TSU’s current president, Melvin Johnson, announced in July his plans to retire on Jan. 1.
“Dr. Shields will do an excellent job leading TSU during this
transition period,” said Morgan. “This is a critical time for TSU and
all of higher education. Dr. Shields will provide strong leadership and
quality governance to ensure TSU’s progress with accreditation
re-affirmation, to enhance student success, and to prepare the campus
for advancement toward the Complete College Tennessee Act.
“She brings several key characteristics that will benefit TSU in this
interim period. She is a respected college leader, and she has
demonstrated her ability to successfully guide a campus through a
Shields was chosen from a pool of candidates listed with the Registry
for College and University Presidents, a national search service that
assists universities and colleges around the country as they seek
exceptional leadership during transition periods.
“The TBR is fortunate that Dr. Shields’ services are available at
this time,” said Morgan. “Her unique experiences and excellent
qualifications will enable TSU to move forward during this important
Most recently Shields served as chief executive officer and chief
academic officer of Concordia College in Selma, Ala., from November 2007
to December 2009. While there she improved academic programs and
institutional effectiveness, raised campus academic standards, and
enhanced the college’s financial operations.