A resolution recognizing and congratulating Dr. Portia H. Shields, on her position as president of Tennessee State University, Nashville.

WHEREAS, on January 2, 2011, Dr. Portia H. Shields, was appointed President of Tennessee State University, the first female to assume the role of presidency in the history of the institution. Dr. Shields comes to Nashville from Concordia College in Selma, Alabama, where she served as the first female chief executive officer and chief academic officer; and

WHEREAS, president at Tennessee State University, within her first 90 days, Dr. Shields has immediately begun to incorporate improvements at the university, including launching a seven-day a week tutoring center to support students in overcoming academic deficiencies and to assist in improving retention and graduation rates; increasing visitor and handicapped parking spaces and introducing a new campus friendly parking system; establishing the Extreme Spring Break program, a week of intense academic instruction to assist students to catch-up on required course credit during their break; introducing the Student Acceleration initiative to increase graduation outcomes as mandated through the Complete College Act; appointing a Centennial Celebration Committee, made up of students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members to plan the university’s 100th anniversary in 2012; and, compiling a SACS Advisory team to ensure the university’s academic standing remains sound, among many other initiatives; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Portia H. Shields was named in 2004 as one of Georgia’s “50 Most Influential Women” by the Georgia Informer, Shields is distinguished as one of the founding presidents of the American University of Ethiopia. She has a wide range of stellar experiences and accomplishments in the field of higher education with appointments and affiliations with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Inc., American Council on Education, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Communities in Schools of Georgia and Georgia Appleseed. Additional memberships include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., The Links, Incorporated, National Council of Negro Women, and Phi Delta Kappa and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Societies; and

WHEREAS, a conscientious member of her profession, Dr. Portia H. Shields will steer the school on a steady course in a decisive, fair, and equitable manner; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee State University is fortunate to have the insight and guidance of Dr. Shields, who will lead by example with her professionalism, knowledge, experience and common sense; and,

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes and congratulates Dr. Portia H. Shields on her new position as president of Tennessee State University and wish her well.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing and congratulating Dr. Portia H. Shields, on her position as president of Tennessee State University, Nashville.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Dr. Portia H. Shields, President of Tennessee State University

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Lonnell Matthews, Jerry Maynard, Walter Hunt, Edith Taylor Langster, Sandra Moore, Vivian Wilhoite, Frank Harrison, Sam Coleman, Erica Gilmore


Referred to: Rules & Confirmations Committee
Introduced: May 3, 2011
Adopted: May 3, 2011
Approved: May 4, 2011