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Jackson State University announces six-goal strategic plan, ‘Elevate’

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 8:53 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson State has unveiled its roadmap to success.

President Dr. Thomas Hudson announced his new 5-year strategic plan “Elevate” to help continue striving for academic success, accelerate the university, and promote student achievement.

“Jackson State has always been here. We are 144-years-old and we are just happy to be a part of this really emerging HBCU landscape that you see across the country,” he stated.

Hudson said he is proud of the progress Jackson State has made over the years, but there is still more work to be done to be a force in education.

He says the university’s new strategic plan will hopefully do just that. It is centered around six goals over the next five years. Student success and academic prominence top the list.

“It’s really about your outcome. So, we have to keep educating students, we have to improve our graduation rate, we have to improve our research output and start taking the steps necessary to continue to rise in the ranks,” he explained.

Rebuilding JSU’s brand and improving the campus culture for students is on the list, as well as the aesthetics on campus.

“Really making sure we keep our designation one of the nicest and most beautiful urban campuses you will visit, and really tackling issues that all HBCUs fees, such as deferred maintenance and just aging infrastructure overall.”

Hudson says athletics is also an important component in the plan. He says the goal is to become one of the premier NCAA FCS sports programs in the country.

“You don’t really see athletics and a lot of plans, but athletics is a big part of the university. It is often called the front porch of the university and one of the things that people say about you first. So, athletics is a part of it, just that athletic prowess and really providing more support for our student athletes.”

With the hiring of Deion Sanders, the national spotlight is now on JSU. The hiring of Coach Prime has also reignited the conversation about a new football stadium. Currently, the JSU Tigers play their home games at Veterans Memorial Stadium, which has aged over the years.

Hudson says the university is working toward development and growth toward downtown, and the stadium is critical to that effort.

During the last legislative session, lawmakers allocated a quarter of a million dollars for JSU to study the possibility of getting a new home for the Tigers.

Hudson says the money is being used for land studies, to research possibly sites, and come up with a really good product for Jackson.

The comprehensive plan includes input from the entire campus community, which was led by a committee of faculty, administrators, staff, and students.

To view the plan, click here.

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