A great start to the 2014-2015 academic year

August 19th, 2014 by jacksonstate

‚ÄčDear JSU Family and Friends:

Thank you for the best Faculty and Staff Seminar, Move-in Day and Freshman Convocation ever. This has been a great start to Welcome Week and the 2014-2015 academic year.

The seminar was spectacular. Presenters were engaging and on point. The attendance was the best that I can remember, which demonstrated a higher interest from faculty and staff. Dr. Saundra McGuire, the seminar’s keynote, was outstanding. The Task Force, chaired by Dr. Jean-Claude Assad and Dr. Ricardo Brown, did a fine job in planning and execution.

Move-in Day keeps getting better and better, thanks to our Enrollment Management Team under the leadership of Dr. Nicole Evans and people like Dr. Rosella Houston, Gwen Washington and coach Omar Johnson, as well as members of the Wesley Foundation and others I saw at Alexander Hall assisting students and families.

I am also grateful to members of the Pan-Hellenic Council, the Department of Athletics, alumni and JSUNAA's Dr. Earlexia Norwood and scores of others who gave up their Saturday to help embrace the newest members of the JSU family.

Sunday afternoon’s freshman convocation was impressive, particularly the turnout from students, parents and faculty. Miss JSU Anissa Butler’s message was special, relevant and practical, especially her points about time management and rest. And weren't you moved by the stirring and beautiful rendition of our national anthem by Edwin Jhamal Davis at the opening seminar and convocation.  What talent we have in this family!

Sunday night I went to the Sonic Boom’s “Merge,” an activity in which first-year band students are officially welcomed into the band. I had never heard of this event, had not expected the robust support from the community and once more experienced the wonder of the Boom, its leaders, supporters and participants.

Again, as we start this new academic year, thank you for embracing ONE JSU and for your commitment to doing everything better than it’s ever been done before.  I am reminded of the encouragement Christopher Robin gave to Pooh:

         “You’re braver than you believe

         Stronger than you seen

         And smarter than you think.”

You are brave, strong, and smart!  You are ONE JSU.

Dear JSU Faculty and Staff:

As we come to the end of this academic year, as well as the end of Faculty/Staff Appreciation Week, please accept my heartfelt appreciation for all that you do that assures that our University will continue to thrive. Because of you and our supporters, the University has reached new heights and demonstrates the finest definition in today's world of what any thriving university must be and do. Know that you are making a difference – one with a positive impact on the next generation of leaders in every arena for our city, county, state, nation and world.

Thank you for embracing this awesome responsibility and for choosing to be at Jackson State University.

Carolyn W. Meyers 

Dear JSU Family,

We have been blessed with a gift any university could want. As you may have heard, the bus transporting our baseball team burned outside of Birmingham yesterday afternoon. The gift is that, to my knowledge, not one person was injured. All equipment and personal possessions were lost, but those are replaceable.

You will be proud to know that our Risk Management, Facilities, and Emergency Management teams responded immediately to return our student-athletes and our co-workers to campus. Sodexo-MAGIC prepared a hot meal for their return.

The assistance from the IHL, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and some SWAC schools has been immediate and heartwarming. We all know that any kid is “our kid” and every school is “our school” in times like these. I know you join me in being thankful for the well-being of our team and the staff and grateful to our staff and friends in higher education.

JSU is extraordinarily blessed once more and wealthy in the things that matter. Give thanks.

Carolyn W. Meyers

Special election regarding sales tax

January 13th, 2014 by jacksonstate

On January 14, a special election is being held in the City of Jackson regarding the implementation of a 1 percent sales tax to assist with water, sewer and road improvements.  I applaud Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and others for their leadership with moving forward and allowing the citizens of Jackson to vote on this initiative.

I believe this is a vital tool for the city’s growth and development.  I want to remind you to vote on January 14 at your precinct.  The campus precinct will be open, and I urge all students and others to vote.

I can’t tell you how to vote, but I will be voting in favor of this sales tax.  I agree with Mayor Lumumba’s statement, “What is good for the City of Jackson is good for Jackson State University – and vice versa.”


Carolyn W. Meyers

Dear Faculty and Staff:

We have truly had an outstanding year at Jackson State University!

Over the past year, we have not only reached – but have sustained – record enrollment. With this growth comes the tremendous responsibility to provide our students with the best educational experience possible. We are delivering on that promise thanks to the hard work and dedication of you, our treasured faculty and staff. We have achieved great things working together as One JSU.

As the year comes to a close, I’m particularly proud of one of our latest accomplishments. Through our iPad initiative, we have been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School. This designation puts JSU in an elite group of educational institutions that are blazing the trail for others to follow. That’s One JSU!

To celebrate this year’s many achievements, I cordially invite all Jackson State University faculty and staff, along with their spouses or significant others, to the Moonlight & Mistletoe holiday celebration on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at 6 p.m. at the JSU Student Center.

The Student Center will be transformed for the celebration, which will include culinary creations on all three floors from Chef Godfrey Morgan of Aramark and a variety of entertainment. Please come with your dancing shoes and be prepared to mix and mingle with your colleagues as we celebrate another fabulous year at Jackson State University. I hope to see you all there!

Carolyn W. Meyers

Brazilian students and security at JSU

November 21st, 2013 by jacksonstate

Normally,  I use this time to talk about the numerous achievements of JSU faculty, staff and students. Those achievements continue to be exciting as well as numerous.

Today I feel compelled to provide some accurate information on recent events concerning Brazilian students at Jackson State University.

JSU has 280 international students, representing 60 countries, on campus enrolled in our academic programs. The international diversity enriches the intellectual environment of our campus. With regards to our Brazilian students participating in the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program, the first student enrolled in 2012 and successfully completed the yearlong program and is back in his home country.

This year, starting in the summer of 2013, 27 students from Brazil enrolled in JSU in English as a Second Language programs as well as traditional academic programs. Between their arrival in the summer of 2013 and the fall, there were three incidents involving these Brazilian exchange students. One involved, someone snatching a student’s cell phone. The other involved someone taking a backpack that was left unattended and the other was an armed robbery of a cell phone. The International Studies Program followed up with each student involved in each incident, and students were offered counseling and other services and opportunities. All but one student declined.

We take crime prevention very seriously on our campus. It is unfortunate that these events occurred, but there is no evidence to support targeting any foreign students. These were random occurrences.

During their tenure at Jackson State, the Brazilian students consistently praised the program. The students participated in numerous campus and off-campus activities. They even worked on a float for the Homecoming Parade.

To this day, we still don’t have any formal or informal communication from the Brazilian consulate or any of the participating students, despite our efforts to reach out to them.

Most recently, we have beefed up our security force and we are working with the city of Jackson to control some of the egress around streets and our campus. I’m hopeful we can complete that by the end of this term.

I want to reiterate that the safety of all of our students is important and we will continue to provide an environment where students receive a high-quality education.

Carolyn W. Meyers

Something Special

November 5th, 2013 by jacksonstate

Just over two weeks ago, Jackson State University celebrated homecoming.  Although the traditional JSU homecoming game was cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, what did happen here on game day was special by many measures.  Never have I been prouder of our University than on that Saturday in October.

First, our students stepped up in so many ways; all made the best of an unexpected situation.  For example, the football team turned on a dime and volunteered to scrimmage, putting aside the dreams of Senior Day for those players, and the anticipation and delight of having their parents and friends seeing them play at homecoming. Those who had expectations of sharing homecoming game day with their parents and friends put on smiles while going through the stands thanking friends and supporters of the University.  These young men demonstrated their respect for the fine tradition of athletic competition of JSU and the SWAC, as well as their love for the values that define JSU.  We all saw up close and personal the fine scholar athletes typical of JSU athletics – each special in their collective and individual commitments to represent well and to support our University.

The Sonic Boom of the South, along with the talented Prancing J-Settes and the JSU cheerleaders, extended their normal practices on that Friday night to add to their planned performances for all of our fans.  These young men and women practiced well into the evening.  This resulted in a fine extended halftime show and game performances that all in attendance enjoyed.  These students displayed the JSU homecoming spirit of celebration for all to see – something special.

The student body overall, although understandably disappointed as events unfolded, consciously decided to make the best of the situation.  Students came to the concerts and other activities, the campus queen and her court paraded as usual, and all students clung fiercely to their determination to make good and happy memories here at JSU’s homecoming – something special.

The JSU alumni, friends and supporters altered their expectations and carried on celebrating under unprecedented circumstances, displaying their steadfast love of and respect for JSU and her values and traditions – something special.

The JSU leadership team convened of their own accord at 4:30 p.m. on the eve of the expected homecoming game to plan – less than 24 hours before game time – a day worth remembering for all.  Every president of every university should have a “dream team” like JSU’s. In roughly three hours, these leaders crafted, secured and committed to making that third Saturday in October at the Mississippi Veteran’s Memorial Stadium as joyous as possible in spite of the situation – something special.

Yet another something really special is that no individual associated with this University in any capacity – be he or she faculty, staff, volunteers or friends – refused any of the last minute assignments and requests; the response was consistently, “What else can I do?”   Some showed up at 4:30 a.m. to redesign the configuration of the stadium for the impromptu concert for the fans; others were present from 6 a.m. until long after the festivities ended just to facilitate and insure execution and success; many others changed their plans, put aside their angst and disappointment, and redesigned and encouraged the festive celebration of 136 years of JSU – all and each – really special!

So October 19 wasn’t the day JSU had planned or expected; it was, in my book, one of the most special days in JSU’s history.  The late Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil disobedience activities never, to my knowledge, were at the expense of innocent bystanders as was JSU, nor were those of the heroes and sheroes of our state’s and nation’s civil rights movement.

To quote Dr. King: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  On October 19, 2013, all Mississippians and friends from across the nation saw the special “stand” that the men and women who are Jackson State University today took for our University in a time of “challenge and controversy”.   I think our founders would be proud; I hope all in our state – the Governor, the Legislature, the IHL, the taxpayers who support us, the Jackson mayor and City Council and all Mississippians – are proud of Jackson State University.  It’s a special place that on the occasion of adversity, JSU meets that adversity with respect for all, dignity and grace.  That response has been and continues to be the JSU way.

May God continue to bless Jackson State University and us all – each and every one.


Carolyn W. Meyers














Homecoming message

October 15th, 2013 by jacksonstate

Dear Faculty and Staff of Jackson State University:

I just want to share with you my recent reflections about the role we play in our students’ lives.  Last week I met with the SGA Executive Committee.  I asked one simple question,  “What makes Jackson State University special to you?”  Each young person there replied with different, yet heartfelt, statements that you – the faculty and staff – make JSU a special place because you help nurture their needs and dreams.  Your warmth and sincerity in the promise of making dreams come true does not go unnoticed.  And guess what, many want to be like you – the ultimate compliment.

Sometimes when I take a break from the computer and paperwork, I listen to music.  Today I thought of you as I enjoyed the miracle of talent unveiled. That’s what you do – uncover talent and enable our students to perform and be respected all over the planet.  You make sure, to paraphrase the lyrics in Les Miserables, that life doesn’t kill the dreams of our students. You give them every day the confidence to perform and live well.

Thank you for being JSU at its finest. Please enjoy the 2013 Homecoming festivities. You deserve it!


Carolyn W. Meyers

JSU 2013 Fall Faculty And Staff Seminar Address

October 8th, 2013 by jacksonstate

In support of Jackson State University’s core business of academics and in recognition of the outstanding contributions of our talented faculty, it is my pleasure to announce the designation of funds for salary increases for all faculty this year.

This increase will include an across-the-board salary increase, as recommended by the Faculty Senate, at the level of 2 percent, as well as a merit-based increase of 3 percent.

The faculty salary increase is a continuance of the University’s plan to enhance salaries and to reinvest in the core academic mission of the institution. Since I’ve been at JSU, salaries for faculty and staff have been enhanced on an alternate year basis.  As such, JSU staff will receive increases next year.

In addition to salary increases, academic units will receive one-time allocations to supplement the expenses associated with professional development and other departmental enhancements and costs.  This salary program and the academic colleges supplement program are possible as a result of the University’s recent enrollment growth.

These increases are in recognition of the faculty’s hard work and commitment to excellence.  Faculty will see the increase in their December 2013 paychecks.

On behalf of Tigers everywhere, please accept my thanks to all faculty and staff for their exemplary work and dedication as we continue to work together as “One JSU.”

Carolyn W. Meyers