Board names acting president of JSU

Thomas Hudson
Thomas Hudson(IHL)
Updated: Feb. 10, 2020 at 3:22 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Institute of Higher Learning named Thomas Hudson as the acting president of Jackson State University on Monday.

Hudson is the current special assistant to the president and Chief Diversity Officer at JSU.

Hudson takes over for William Bynum, who was arrested this weekend in a prostitution sting and subsequently resigned.

“We are extremely pleased that Thomas Hudson has agreed to serve as Acting President,” said Hal Parker, President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. “As both an alumnus and a current staff member, he has a deep love for and understanding of the campus and all it means to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and the state.”

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Alfred Rankins, Sr. issues this statement on the appointment:

As you may know, President Bynum tendered his resignation to the Board of Trustees this morning, effective immediately. I understand that a sudden resignation brings uncertainty to the campus community, so I wanted to let you know that the Board has named an Acting President.

I am pleased to announce that the Board has appointed Thomas Hudson as Acting President. He currently serves as Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer. A staff member since 2012 and a Jackson State alum, he is well known to all of you and is well-qualified for this role. I am certain his leadership will keep Jackson State moving forward without any loss of momentum. I am extremely pleased that he has accepted this important assignment.

As Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer, Hudson served on the executive cabinet and provided guidance to senior leadership on all topics related to the university’s future course and trajectory. With the Division of Human Resources and Office of General Counsel under his purview, Hudson oversaw institutional EEO and Title IX implementation and collaborated with other executive administrators on matters of curriculum, guidelines and practices.

A member of the Jackson State staff since 2012, Hudson has also served as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Diversity Officer, Chief Diversity and EEO Officer/Title IX Coordinator. As Chief Operating Officer, Hudson implemented cost-saving measures that resulted in a 10 percent decrease in the university’s operational budget, coordinated academic and administrative restructuring efforts, resulting in an annual savings of $4 million, and led institutional efforts that changes a projected year-end deficit to an approximate $3 million cash balance.

Appointed as the inaugural Chief Diversity and Equal Opportunity Officer at Jackson State, Hudson received the Presidential Creative Award Grant for efforts in design a program to bring awareness of interpersonal violence prevention to the student body and designed and implemented the first university-wide training designed to eliminate implicit bias for search committees. In addition, he developed strategies for increasing the number of female faculty members in STEM disciplines, resulting in a 30 percent increase in hiring of women in these disciplines over a three-year period.

Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi. Before joining the staff at Jackson State, Hudson founded his own law practice and served as an EEO specialist for the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA in Clinton.Hudson serves as Co-Chairperson on the JSU Strategic Planning Committee and Vice Chairperson of the university system’s Chief Diversity Officers’ Council. He is a member of the Margaret Walker Alexander Center Board of Directors and the JSU Athletics Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors.

Jackson State University is a strong institution with a rich history and an important mission as the state’s only urban university. Mr. Hudson understands its history, traditions, mission and all facets of the campus. As co-chair of the university’s Strategic Planning Committee, he has also been focused on the university’s future and is well-prepared to step into this role without a learning curve.

The Board of Trustees will discuss the future leadership of Jackson State at its regular Board Meeting next week.

Hudson has been a part of the JSU staff since 2012.

The Board of trustees will discuss the future leadership at Jackson State at a board meeting next week.

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