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THEC Director Richard Rhoda Will Address U of M Graduates Dec. 17
For release: December 14, 2005
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Dr. Richard G. Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, will address graduates at the University of Memphis’ winter Commencement.  The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 17 at FedEx Forum.

THEC, created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly, coordinates two systems of higher education – the University of Tennessee institutions governed by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, and the state universities (including the University of Memphis), community colleges, technical institutes, and technology centers governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).

Altogether, there are nine public universities, two special purpose institutes, 13 two-year institutions, and 27 technology centers in Tennessee that serve nearly 200,000 students.

Rhoda has dedicated his entire career to higher education. He joined the TBR staff as a graduate student in 1973.  Over the next 12 years he served in a progression of assignments, eventually becoming executive assistant to the chancellor from 1980 to 1985.

He joined the administration of Tennessee State University in 1985, presiding over a period of change after the settlement of a statewide higher education desegregation lawsuit with TSU at its center. Rhoda returned to the TBR staff in 1990 as vice chancellor for administration. While there, he had several interim appointments, including interim president of Nashville State Technical Institute.

Rhoda left public higher education in 1995 to become assistant director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University.

In 1997 he returned to TBR as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and strategic planning. Later that year he was appointed to lead THEC.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Rhoda earned a master’s degree in education from George Peabody College for Teachers and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt.

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