Dr. Shirley C. Raines became the 11th president of the University of Memphis on July 1, 2001. She is the first woman to hold the presidency of the University, which was founded in 1912.
The University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a high research university, with almost 23,000 students and 2,500 employees.
Previous to her appointment at the University of Memphis, Dr. Raines was Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. While at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, she received the Distinguished Faculty Member award and 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.
During the years of Dr. Raines' tenure at the University of Memphis, the following building projects have been completed: the FedEx Institute of Technology, the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, the Student Activities Plaza and fountain, the clock tower, University Services Building with new bookstore, additions to the Carpenter Student Housing Complex, the renovation of Wilder Tower, the University Center, the Living Learning Residence Complex and relocation of the Law School to the historic downtown location on the Mississippi River.
Improvement to athletic facilities have also been a priority with the construction of the Athletic Training Facility, Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame, Tiger Softball Complex, FedExPark, Frank L. Flautt Golf Center, and upgrades and renovations to the football training facilities, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Dr. Raines served on the board for the NCAA for five years and chaired the Presidential Task Force Oversight and Monitoring Group while also serving on the Board of Directors of C-USA. While Chair of the Board of Directors of C-USA, Dr. Raines led the conference through realignment.
Dr. Raines earned her Doctorate in Education and her Master of Science degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her Bachelor of Science degree is from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She also completed the Management Development Program from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has returned to Harvard for the past four years as a keynote speaker for the Institutes for Higher Education addressing new university presidents and chancellors.
A native of Bells, Tennessee, she is married to retired professor, Dr. Robert J. Canady. In his retirement, he is a stained glass artist and a private pilot. Bob and Shirley are the parents of four adult children and five grandchildren.