For release: November 5, 2009
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843
Tennessee 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
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.