Jackson State University President placed on leave

More change on the way at Jackson State University as its president, Thomas Hudson, has been put on administrative leave.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has placed Thomas Hudson, President of Jackson State University, on administrative leave with pay, effective immediately, and named Dr. Elayne Hayes-Anthony as temporary acting president of JSU at its meeting held Thursday in Jackson, effective immediately.

Hudson received a “no confidence” vote in January after a committee determined Hudson and his leadership “have exhibited a continuous pattern of failing to respect shared governance, transparency, accountability, and have worked outside of professional norms that have broad implications for the campus climate, the reputation of Jackson State University, and the university’s commitment both to providing a high-quality education and to carrying out its mission of a commitment to excellence. The faculty senate remains intent to advance the concerns of the faculty and expresses a continued willingness to engage in any forum to yield remedy to the issues shared by its body.”

Dr. Hayes-Anthony currently serves as Chair and Professor, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, at Jackson State University.

“We are grateful that Dr. Hayes-Anthony has agreed to serve as Acting President,” said Tom Duff, President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. “As alumnus and long-time administrator and faculty member at the university, she understands the campus, its students, its challenges and opportunities.”

Dr. Hayes-Anthony has served as chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Jackson State University since 2015. She served as professor of Communications and chair of the Department of Communications at Belhaven University from 1998 until 2015.

Prior to her time at Belhaven, she served at JSU for 10 years, first as director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Mass Communications and later appointed head of the department. Under her leadership, the department received national accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. Hayes-Anthony earned both her bachelor of science and master’s degrees at JSU, and obtained her Ph.D. in Organizational Communication Broadcast Law at Southern Illinois, Carbondale.

She has a distinguished career in broadcast journalism. A native of Jackson, she made a name for herself as the first African-American female news anchor on WJTV Channel 12. She was appointed assistant superintendent of public information for the Jackson Public School District and spokesperson for the Jackson School Board, before accepting the position at Belhaven.

She has received a number of accolades from her work and civic involvement, including being named the 2014 recipient of the Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award.

The Board of Trustees will discuss the future leadership of Jackson State at its regular Board meeting later this month.

Jackson State University President placed on leave
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