TLSAMP History

During the Spring of 2001, administrators at Tennessee State University (TSU) discussed the idea of TSU taking the lead on a proposal to be submitted to the NSF LSAMP program. Degree and enrollment data were compiled and reviewed by this team of administrators to determine who would be invited to participate. During that summer, the Vice President of Academic Affairs of TSU sent letters to eight academic leaders across the state of Tennessee requesting participation. LeMonye-Owen College (LOC), Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), the University of Memphis (UM), the University of Tennessee– Knoxville (UTK), and Vanderbilt University (VU) agreed to join this proposed partnership. The original cast included Lonnie Sharpe, Massie Chair of Excellence Professor at TSU, Muhammad Shafi, Director of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at LOC, Mary Martin, Associate Dean of Science and Technology at MTSU, John Haddock, Vice Provost at UM, James Pippin, Director Minority Engineering Program at UTK, and K. Arthur Overholser, Associate Dean of Engineering at VU. By the time the proposal was completed, Denise Jackson, Professor of Industrial Engineering at UTK had replaced James Pippin and Tom Cheatham, Dean of Science and Technology had replaced Mary Martin. President James Hefner was selected to be the principal investigator for this proposal.

In 2013, Fisk University (FU), Nashville State Community College (NSCC), Southwest Tennessee Community College (SWTCC), and Tennessee Technological University (TTU) joined the Alliance. The present executive team includes Lonnie Sharpe, Arnold Burger, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives at FU, Sherry Painter, Director of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at LOC, Robert Fischer, Dean of Basic and Applied Sciences at MTSU, Ronald Davis, Vice President for Academic Affairs/Student Services at NSCC, Barbara Roseborough, Interim Provost at SWTCC, Joseph Rencis, Dean of Engineering at TTU, Richard Sweigard, Dean of Engineering at UM, Masood Parang, Associate Dean of Engineering at UTK, and K. Arthur Overholser. Mark Hardy, Vice President of Academic Affairs at TSU is the principal investigator.

Phase I of the Tennessee LSAMP programs was funded by NSF form 2002 to 2008 for approximately $3.5 million. A similar Phase II award was funded from 2008 to 2013. In 2013 an award was made for Phase III for approximately $2.5 million and will continue through 2018.