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Retiring Deans: TSU Graduates Better Prepared for the Job Market


NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) June 12, 2012- Recounting their years of service at Tennessee State University, two retiring deans say TSU students are receiving the training needed to better prepare them for the job market after they graduate. Dr. Bruce Rogers, interim dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs; and Dr. Tilden Curry, dean of the College of Business, said the high placement of graduates from their various program is a clear indication of the quality of the preparation their students are receiving.


“This clearly shows that we are fulfilling our obligation to teach our students and give them choices that offer them clear career paths,” said Dr. Rogers, who is retiring after 33 years at TSU. “It is a requirement to have defined career paths for students.”


Lamenting the high cost of education and the extra burden on students to pay back huge school loans, Rogers said this could be curtailed if graduating students were better prepared for the job market. “I feel for students who come out of college with huge loans and no jobs. This definitely heightens the need for universities to give students the skills needed for entering the job market,” he said.


In the College of Business, the emphasis is on the development of marketable skills and is evident in the level of placement graduates of the college are receiving, according to Dr. Curry, who joined TSU in 1982 as associate dean. “This is a great institution,” he said. “Our graduates are doing very well out there because of how we prepared them. This is a strong University. I am proud of what we are doing here.”


At a recent reception to honor Rogers and Curry, TSU President, Dr. Portia Holmes Shields, referred to the two deans as “giants” in the field of education. “Dr. Curry and Dr. Rogers have contributed so much to the growth of this University,” she said. “We are grateful for what they have done and continue to do to ensure that our students receive the best education for the job market and the world. Their contribution in terms of bringing funding and developing programs are immeasurable. We will miss them.”


Rogers, who joined TSU as a result of the merger of the University of Tennessee at Nashville and Tennessee State University in 1979, served as the first minority Faculty Senate chair. For 10 years he was the coordinator of the Public Administration program. He later developed the Ph.D. program in Public Administration.


Dr. Curry came to TSU after several years in the corporate world. Under his leadership as dean of the College of Business, TSU became the first public HBCU to receive The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in 1994. 


He currently serves as a member of the HBCU Business Round Table, an organization of HBCU business deans, which is aimed to enhance HBCU business schools. At a recent gathering in Washington, D.C., Dr. Curry was presented with the organization’s highest honor, the Milton Wilson Award, which is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to HBCU business schools during their career.


On life after TSU, the two longtime educators are far from retiring. They plan to stay “very” busy, except this time, on their own watch. “I am almost 65; the College of Business is in good shape; and there is another phase of life to live, which I aim to take full advantage of,” said Curry. “I plan to travel, enjoy life and do things that I have long wanted to do.”


For Dr. Rogers, along with his wife, Norma, who will be retiring from the Nashville Symphony as a solo piccolo player after 40 years, he plans to travel. During the spring the couple will pay visits to their son, Alex, in Hong Kong, and go to Florida during the winter.  Dr. Rogers also plans to fish, take lessons in Spanish and “focus on fitness.”






About Tennessee State University


With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as the Number One University in the state by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.  


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