A Change in Leadership at Jackson State University in Mississippi

The board of trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi has placed Thomas Hudson, president of Jackson State University, on administrative leave with pay, effective immediately. No reason was given for the decision to relieve Hudson of his duties. Earlier, this year the university’s faculty senate approved a vote of “no confidence” in Hudson’s leadership. The faculty senate resolution accused the university’s president of failing to respect shared governance, a lack of transparency, and accountability for the campus climate.

In 2020, Hudson was named acting president of Jackson State University. This came in the wake of then-president William Bynum Jr.’s resignation after he was one of 17 people arrested in a prostitution sting operation conducted by the police department in Clinton, Mississippi. Hudson was given the job on a permanent basis later that year.

Before being named president, Hudson had been serving as special assistant to the president and chief diversity officer at the university. He had been a member of the Jackson State staff since 2012. Earlier, he served as an equal employment opportunity specialist for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi.

Elayne Hayes-Anthony was named acting president of Jackson State University. She currently serves as chair and professor in the department of journalism and media studies at the university. Before joining the Jackson State faculty in 2015, Dr. Hayes-Anthony was a professor of communications and chair of the department of communications at Belhaven University in Jackson from 1998 to 2015.

Dr. Hayes-Anthony earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Jackson State University. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational communication and broadcast law from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

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