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University of Memphis President Appointed to 16-State Southern Regional Education Board University News
For release: November 5, 2009

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

Dr. Shirley RainesTennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has appointed Dr. Shirley C. Raines, president of the University of Memphis, to the Southern Regional Education Board. She will serve a four-year term.

The SREB, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1948, works with Tennessee and 15 other member states to improve education from the pre-kindergarten to the university level. SREB advises governors, legislators, state school superintendents, leaders in higher education, and others about educational policy issues. The organization also provides professional development opportunities to more than 10,000 K-12 educators across the country.

Described as “powerful, prepared, and personable,” Dr. Raines has become known for her effective work in building productive partnerships on and off the campus since her appointment to the U of M presidency in July 2001. This emphasis has enabled the University to realize significant increases in annual giving to the University. Establishment of the University of Memphis Research Foundation along with the University’s focus on engaged scholarship in the community, has facilitated an increase of sponsored research grant and contract awards by almost 100% since the beginning of her tenure.

Major focus areas of her work with students include an increased emphasis on the retention of students, expansion of the University’s Honors and Emerging Leaders programs, the establishment of a guaranteed internship program for qualified students, living-learning residential and curricular learning communities throughout campus and the construction of a living-learning residential facility and a new University Center.

Dr. Raines is one of 12 college presidents on the NCAA Board of Directors, and she chairs the NCAA Presidential Task Force Oversight and Monitoring Group, while also serving on the Board of Directors of Conference-USA, where she led the conference through realignment while chairing the C-USA Board.

Prior to her appointment to the University of Memphis presidency, Dr. Raines was Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. Earlier, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., she received the Distinguished Faculty Member Award, and she has received two research awards from the Eastern Educational Research Association.

She is the author of 14 books and numerous journal articles and is widely regarded as an expert in teacher education and early childhood education. Dr. Raines is a frequent speaker at community events and has been a keynote speaker at Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management as well as its Seminar for New Presidents.

As a community leader, she is the past chair of the Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, and she is on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations, including Memphis Tomorrow, local PBS station WKNO, and the Higher Education Division of United Way. The March/April 2009 issue of Business TN magazine included her on its list of “the 100 most powerful people in Tennessee.”

Each state is represented on the Southern Regional Education Board by its governor and four gubernatorial appointees, each of whom serves staggered terms. Other Tennessee representatives currently serving are Lois DeBerry of Memphis, speaker pro tem of the Tennessee House of Representatives; Andy Womack of Murfreesboro, former state senator; and Stephen A. Cobb of Nashville, former state representative.

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