University of Memphis President Raines Retiring

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — University of Memphis President Shirley Raines said Monday that she is retiring, effective June 30.

Raines, who turned 68 on Monday, announced her retirement in a statement released by the university.

Raines was hired as the school’s 11th president on July 1, 2001.

During her tenure, the university’s enrollment has grown to more than 22,000 students, awarding more than 4,000 degrees last year. The university also has doubled the number of research grants and contract awards since she took over.

She has focused on expanding the university’s honors and Emerging Leaders programs, developing curricular learning communities throughout campus, establishing the university’s Lambuth Campus in Jackson, and completing a $250 million capital campaign that is ending on her retirement date, the school said.

Raines, a native of Bells, Tenn., said it was an honor to serve as University of Memphis president and the school has a strong foundation for the future.

“These have been 12 of the most enjoyable, challenging and professionally fulfilling years of my life,” Raines said.

Before taking the Memphis job, Raines was vice chancellor for academic services and dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.

She has written 14 books and numerous journal articles and is regarded as an expert in teacher education and early childhood education. Raines earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, is expected to name an interim president this week. He called Raines a bold leader and an important ally.

“President Raines embraced the initiatives of the Complete College Tennessee Act and has worked to improve student performance, retention and success,” Morgan said in the university’s statement.