TSU Drops Tavis Smiley’s Name From School


Tavis

By BMIA.com Staff

Last month broadcaster Tavis Smiley ended his relationship with Wells Fargo Bank.  This month Smiley and Texas Southern University (TSU) ended their relationship last Friday when the university’s governing board agreed to strip Smiley’s name from its communication school.  This action was the final decision in a long-simmering feud.  In 2004, Smiley promised to donate $1 million dollars and to raise another $1 million for TSU.  Shortly, thereafter the school later created the Tavis Smiley School of Communication in his honor.

Smiley reportedly in return, made one $50,000 donation in mid-2005 and raised $250,000 from three corporate donors.   Smiley said Friday he had intended to fulfill his personal pledge.  “Any institution that turns away a $1 million gift in this economy, I think ought to have good reason for doing that,” he said in a telephone interview.

TSU President John Rudley said the dispute had been going on since he arrived on campus in early 2008.  Communication between both parties reportedly broke down last month after more than a year of negotiations.

“Because you did not fulfill your original commitment to our partnership, TSU plans to treat the partnership as being at an end,” Rudley wrote in a letter dated Sept. 28. “TSU will therefore remove your name from the School of Communication and the KTSU Radio facility to allow us to provide other major donors with the naming opportunity.”

Smiley promptly responded in an e-mail to Rudley. “I understand your letter to say that you don’t want that gift,” he wrote. “I … will continue with my benevolence where it’s appreciated.”

Smiley has a PBS program that is broadcast in many markets around the country.

Last summer, Smiley informed TSU he was changing the terms of the agreement.

His business manager, Kenneth Goldman, wrote that Smiley wanted to pay $50,000 by the end of 2009 and $100,000 a year for the next nine years.

He no longer would try to raise money from outside donors.

TSU’s well-publicized problems made it impossible to raise money from corporate donors, Smiley said Friday. “And obviously, not unlike most Americans, my personal income has been impacted by this recession.”

Still, he said, he intended to honor his commitment, even if it would take a decade to do so. Now, he said he will donate that money elsewhere.

Rudley, said of Smiley,”He had his reasons for what he was doing.”  Rudley futher acknowledged that the university still likes Smiley but noted that it was time to move on.

Last month Smiley publicly severed all ties to Wells Fargo Bank in the wake of criticism that the bank targeted African American borrowers for subprime mortgages by using trusted black speakers to steer victims to a series of day-long “Wealth Building” seminars in black neighborhoods.

In the seminars, Smiley praised Wells Fargo and encouraged attendees to seriously consider real estate investments. Wells Fargo was a sponsor of Smiley’s radio show on Public Radio International, and underwrote the annual C-Span-televised “State of the Black Union” conference that Smiley organizes.

Is the shine coming off of Tavis Smiley’s public persona?  Is Tavis the real deal?  A profiteering phony?  Or something in between?

What do you think?  Share your thoughts below in our “Comments” section.

Sources:  Houston Chronicle and KHOU (Channel 11)

Advertisements

18 Responses to “TSU Drops Tavis Smiley’s Name From School”

  1. maplesyrup21 Says:

    interesting post !

  2. SpenserAvery Says:

    That you for BOTH sides of the story. It would appear that Mr. Smiley got in over his head.

  3. It is sad to see when these things don’t work out, which is why I am not a fan of naming buildings after people for what they will do, but rather for what they have done!

  4. Tarvis is just one of many black fraudulent media personalities in our community. There is not enough space on this page to list all of them!

    How many black television anchors around the country can call their own shots or have their own serious opinions about what goes on in the black community?

    Most are just puppets mouthing the words of white folks. Wake up everybody.

  5. Well. Since the article DOES not spell out the terms of the gift (how it was supposed to be structured, I’m not sure what the issue is here; but, it seems that Mr. Smiley wanted to have his name placed on a building using a kind of subprime mortgage-like scheme. This is classical small-fry Negro carrying-on of the highest order. You need to go to major corporations to raise the dough for a building with YOUR NAME on it? Well, why do these corporations need Tavis? They could donate the whloe $1million and name it after their company or board chairman.

    This is the same Negro (Tavis) taking money from Wal-Mart (that was sued in every city in America for overtime violations, etc) to produce his State of Black America programs. And he has the audacity to want to call the president (Obama) out? Whose is raising questions about Tavis?

    I want to do a television program on BET called “LEAVE IT TO NEGROES.” It would run in he slot right after that crackhead reality show featuring Frankie.

    I mean: Tavis: $1million bucks at most institutions of any consequence is not ENOUGH to get a building named after you. You get a plaque as a benefactor (with your name on it) on the wall. Stop the bullshit. Either you have the dough or your don’t.

    A ten-year deal to raise $1 million to have an entire building named after Tavis. Please. Rich Negroes have spent more dough on their bathroom (including the fixtures) and chinchilla shower curtains.

  6. Well Hey freind hows it going, youve deffinatley done your homework on this subject I fully agree with what your saying and Ill be keeping my eye on this article and the replies with great anticipation thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about gifts,

  7. Well wow there hows it going, that was a great read I could agree more with your statements and I hope we can chat about this later thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about christmas shopping,

  8. Well wow pal hows it going, youve deffinatley done your homework on this subject I great how did you come to that conclusion? and Ill be keeping my eye on this article and the replies with great anticipation thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about gifts,

  9. Well my god freind hows it going, youve deffinatley done your homework on this subject I fully agree with what your saying and it makes me kind of sad to think of all that waste thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about christmas shopping,

  10. Well my god pal hows it going, I really enjoyed that I think your arguement is a sound one and Ill be keeping my eye on this article and the replies with great anticipation thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about gifts,

  11. Well Hey dude hows it going, I really enjoyed that I could agree more with your statements and I hope we can chat about this later thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about gifts,

  12. Well wow mate hows it going, youve deffinatley done your homework on this subject I think your arguement is a sound one and I hope we can chat about this later thanks for the info. I have some similar info on my site about christmas shopping,

  13. Requirement of hotels, scientists This fraternity?Their next vacation, who might not.Wall or one, with crystal and.And actually makes mens presents, One thousand four distances Today getting.Anyone but occurs, yoke that can.,

  14. Case of food, reason can be?Also contributes to, bike trials These.Use the energy, for each one.Complicated but your jewlry for auntie, are not dumb parent on side.Your repayment process, you it is.,

  15. create adsense site with ebay content make money Says:

    :O So mUch Info :O � THis Is the MOst AMAzing SIte DUDe � 😀 😀

  16. adsense web sites Says:

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this today. This is a great blog. Thanks!

  17. Appreciating the commitment you put into your site and detailed information you offer.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out
    of date rehashed information. Wonderful read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: