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Texas Southern Makes Presidential Firing Official

Texas Southern Makes Presidential Firing Official

Dr. Priscilla Slade’s time as president of Texas Southern University has officially come to an end, after the university’s board of regents denied her appeal to keep her job. The board voted unanimously to terminate Slade’s contract after it was discovered she used public funds for personal gain.

The board immediately named Dr. Bobby Wilson acting president. Wilson had been serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs and student services when he was tapped this spring to oversee the university’s day-to-day operation while Slade was on paid administrative leave.

University officials say questions about Slade’s spending first arose after a board member Slade had invited to see her new home was told that its furnishings had been paid for by the school. A search into the school’s records found that TSU had been charged for a $138,159 landscaping bill and $85,000 in furnishings for Slade’s home. She paid the landscaping bill a week after it was discovered by the regents, claiming it was sent to the school in error (see Diverse, April 20).

The subsequent audit that revealed $650,000 in questionable spending showed the university bought the furniture and paid for the renovations on Slade’s previous home, says Winifred King, a university spokesperson. The school did not recoup its investment when Slade sold that home. Slade’s new home has been searched as part of a criminal probe into her spending of public funds.

Slade has filed a lawsuit against the board, saying it should have held a hearing before terminating her.

— Diverse staff

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