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Unfair & Underfunded: The History of Land Grant Funding in Tennessee and its Impact on TSU

  • Tennessee State University - Avon Williams Campus 354 10th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 Nashville United States (map)

Tennessee State University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members are invited to attend the upcoming discussion:  

Unfair & Underfunded: The History of Land Grant Funding in Tennessee and its Impact on TSU

April 16 at 6 pm

Avon Williams Campus Room 354

Tennessee State University (TSU) and the University of Tennessee (UT) are Tennessee’s two land grant institutions, established under the 1862 and 1890 federal land grant acts to provide federal funds for agricultural colleges. Under law, land grant institutions are supposed to receive matching federal and state funds, i.e. for each dollar of federal funding, the state is supposed to contribute one dollar of state appropriations. Since the 1950s, TSU, Tennessee’s only public Historically Black College and University (HBCU), has not received the full land grant match to which it is entitled. While some progress has been made, the impact of this unfair distribution to TSU is felt to this day. Representative Harold Love, Jr., Ph.D., has introduced HB0823 to require the state to begin providing a detailed report of appropriations made to Tennessee’s land grant institutions annually.

Join TSU Alumnus Representative Harold M. Love Jr., Ph.D.; TSU’s Associate Professor of History Learotha Williams, Jr., PhD., and student advocates from TSU’s Social Work Program and History & Africana Studies Programs who will present information about this issue and discuss the impact of this historical unfair funding scheme on Tennessee’s only public HBCU. Students will present ways you can help to promote Fair Funding for TSU.

Facebook event page:

The event will be live streamed from the facebook page of United Campus Workers.

While the TSU family is working to rectify this situation, the university needs your help.


You can text TSU10 to 50155 and you will be prompted to enter card information to donate directly to the TSU Foundation, which allows TSU officials to determine the best way to utilize funds given.

If you would like to designate that your donation go to a specific program, unit, or scholarship fund at TSU, you can access the TSU Foundation Give Now platform ( and browse the various options available. If you would like to provide direct support to the student leaders who coordinated this event, go to “Other Fund Not Listed” and then when your cart prompts you, enter “Social Work Club.”

To discuss other ways to Support TSU, contact TSU directly here:

You can read an excellent write up about the event from the Tennessee Tribune here:

You can view a Channel 5 news report on this event here:

You can view the live stream of this event here:

You can download the Advocacy Toolkit from the event by clicking here.

You can sign up to participate in the Fair Funding for TSU Advocacy Group by clicking here:

You can download the Agenda from this event here.

You can download the PowerPoint Slides from this event here.

Review a report on this issue here.

Lee, J. & Keys, S. (2013). Land-grant but unequal: State one-to-one match funding for 1890 land-grant universities. Retrieved from The Office for Access & Success, 4/16/2019:

This event is sponsored by TSU’s College of Public Service, TSU’s History, Political Science, Geography, and Africana Studies Department; United Campus Workers; and the Central labor Council of Nashville & Middle Tennessee.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking at the Avon Williams Campus (330 10th Ave N, Nashville, TN) is free in the evenings. Overflow parking is also free in the evenings at the state employees lot across the street.