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TBR Chancellor Recommends David Rudd as UofM’s Next President

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 25, 2014) – M. David Rudd is expected to be named the next president to lead the University of Memphis pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents on Thursday, May 1.

The Board will meet via telephone at 2:45 p.m. CDT to consider TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Rudd to replace Interim President Brad Martin, who accepted a one-year interim appointment after Former President Shirley Raines announced her retirement following a 12-year stint at the university’s helm.

Rudd is currently the provost and Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis, joining the campus in March 2013.

“Dr. Rudd is committed to the university and has a strong vision for its future that is supported by the community and business leaders in the region,” said Morgan. “He has worked closely with the interim president over the past year, and the work they’ve done in a short period of time has been notable. I expect Dr. Rudd will maintain that momentum.

“This has been a meaningful search process, and I appreciate the hard and thoughtful work of the search committee,” Morgan added. “Dr. Rudd emerged early in the process as a leader among a strong pool of candidates and an excellent short list of finalists. I am confident he will do a good job leading the University of Memphis.”

As the provost, Rudd serves on the university’s leadership team as the chief academic officer and has been involved in all aspects of university operations, including business and finance, community relations, research, athletics and development. He has spearheaded an effort to increase student recruitment, retention and degree completion, which has already shown substantial results.

Rudd’s administrative and teaching experience spans almost 30 years in roles in Texas and Utah.  Before being named provost at the University of Memphis, Rudd served as dean of the College of Social and behavioral Sciences at the University of Utah from 2009 to 2013. While there he helped the college recover from a $1 million debt to a surplus of more than $3 million through targeted restructuring, improved accountability and efficiency measures.

Before joining the University of Utah, Rudd was professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Texas Tech from 2006-2009, and professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Baylor University in 2004-05. He had spent the previous four years as a professor and director of Baylor’s doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. He held several roles at Texas A&M University before then.

Rudd earned the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in psychology and holds a master’s degree in psychology from the same institution. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He has been responsible in part for more than $18 million in research grant funding in various roles throughout his career, including more than $3 million in recent years for research to help military populations through the U.S. Army/Department of Defense, Military Operational Medicine Research Program.

His full resume is available at

Rudd was selected after a national search that resulted in more than 70 applicants from around the country. The search advisory committee, chaired by Greg Duckett, senior vice president and chief legal officer at Baptist Memorial Health Care System, worked with executive search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates to identify a broad range of highly qualified candidates. Four finalists were selected and visited the campus. Of those, two candidates, Guy Bailey and Sharon Gaber, later withdrew their names from consideration.

The University of Memphis is one of Tennessee’s three comprehensive doctoral-extensive institutions of higher learning and one of the largest institutions of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Awarding more than 4,000 degrees annually, U of M has 24 Chairs of Excellence, more than any other Tennessee university, and five state-approved Centers of Excellence.

The May 1 meeting is open to the public and the press as listeners. Those wishing dial-in information for the call should contact Monica Greppin-Watts at or 615-366-4417 before 4:30 p.m. April 30. Anyone with a disability who wishes to participate should use the same contact to request services needed to facilitate attendance. Contact may be made in person, by writing, by e-mail, by telephone or otherwise and should be received no later than 4:30 p.m. CDT, April 30.

The TBR is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions, including the University of Memphis.  The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology, providing programs across the state to more than 200,000 students.

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