Four finalists for Tennessee State University president were screened and selected by the Tennessee Board of Regents committee from eighty-six applicants around the country, according to a media release. Interim Tennessee State University president, Portia Shields’ contract expires at the end of the semester, but can be renewed.

The finalists for the job are Dr. Ainsley Carry, vice president for Student Affairs at Auburn University; Dr. Bennie Harris, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at Lipscomb University; Dr. Glenda Glover, dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University and; Dr. Candace Campbell, vice president and chief of staff at The University of Akron.

HBCU Buzz Staff Writer Robert Hoggard had the opportunity to interview Dr. Carry about his tactics and policies, and what he sees and envision as president of one of the most historic colleges in the nation.

Dr. Ainsley Carry

Q What are your plans for Tennessee State University?

A If I am selected, my plans are to ‘hit the ground listening’. TSU is a special place full of history and traditions. I want to respect that heritage of this great institution and learn about the culture, threats, and opportunities to move forward together. I think it is vitally important that my administration fosters a shared governance culture that seeks input from key constituents such as faculty, staff, students, parents, alum, and Tennessee Board of Regents. Once everyone has chimed in, we need to be clear and committed about our plans to move forward.

Q What interested you to apply for the TSU job?

A TSU has a diverse student body: 70% African-American, 22% Caucasian, and 8% Asian, Latino and international. TSU offers a comprehensive academic curriculum and the Academic Master Plan is a bold and visionary concept.

“I look forward to the opportunity to compete for the position. TSU is a good school with tremendous potential to be great. I would be honored to serve as President,” Dr. Carry said.

In the course of his line of business, Dr. Carry has earned a Bachelor’s in Economics, a Master’s in Counseling Education and a Doctorate in Higher Education; all from University of Florida. He also has an MBA from Auburn University.

Although he has not attended an HBCU in the past, neither as a student nor as an administrator, he believes he is still well prepared for the job as TSU president.

“What I know well is how to adjust to different institutional cultures and how to be successful in new cultures. It all begins with listening and sharing decision making,” said Dr. Carry.

The candidates will visit TSU October 29th- November 1st to meet with faculty, administrators, students and community members. There also will be receptions and campus forums, which will be streamed online, live.

A schedule for each finalist is currently posted on