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VOL. 131 | NO. 204 | Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Haslam Appoints 8 to New University of Memphis Board

By Bill Dries

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed eight business leaders, including a former University of Memphis interim president and the CEO of J.C. Penney Co., to the newly formed governing board of the University of Memphis.


Haslam announced his appointees Wednesday, Oct. 12, as he completed appointing separate boards for the other five state colleges and universities that are moving away from the Tennessee Board of Regents umbrella in 2017.

The University of Memphis appointees are:

• Douglas Edwards, senior adviser at BBH Capital Partners and former CEO of Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc.
• Marvin Ellison, CEO and board chairman of J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
Alan Graf, executive vice president and chief financial officer for FedEx Corp.
Cato Johnson, senior vice president of public policy and regulatory affairs for Methodist Healthcare
• Brad Martin, former interim president of the University of Memphis and retired chairman and CEO of Saks Inc.
• David North, president and CEO for Sedgwick Claims Management Services
• Carol Roberts, senior vice president and chief financial officer for International Paper Co.
• Susan Springfield, executive vice president and chief credit officer for First Horizon National Corp.

Martin is a University of Memphis alumnus served as interim president of the university for a year between the retirement of Shirley Raines and the selection of David Rudd, the current president of the university.


Ellison has been leader of the 114-year old department store giant since August 2015 and is a U of M graduate who came to the city from Brownsville, Tennessee. Ellison’s career in retail began as a security guard at a Memphis Target store.

Edwards, Johnson, and Springfield are also University of Memphis alumni.

The University of Memphis board begins its work with the first meeting to be scheduled by Haslam. The appointments will take effect in January, subject to approval by the Tennessee Legislature.


The move to independent boards for each of the six colleges and universities is the result of what is called the FOCUS Act, approved by the Tennessee Legislature earlier this year. The Board of Regents will still govern the community colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology that it currently oversees, and the University of Tennessee system will continue to be governed by a board of trustees separate from the TBR.

The University of Memphis and the five other universities with their own boards – Austin Peay State, East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Technological University – will be overseen by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Each school will have increased autonomy to appoint the campus president, manage its budget and set tuition, and determine tenure policies, among other things. However, THEC will continue to set the state funding formula.

“I don’t know that the entire funding model changes,” Haslam said during a visit to the Memphis campus in June. “Our commitment from the state is to keep funding higher education in an adequate way. What will change a little is the whole capital process. THEC is the stop for that.”

In addition to the governor’s eight appointees, a faculty member and a student representative will round out the 10-member board. The faculty member, who will serve a two-year term as a voting board member, will be selected through a process determined by the faculty senate. The student will be appointed by the board and will serve a one-year term as a nonvoting member.

PROPERTY SALES 66 66 6,612
MORTGAGES 78 78 4,207
BUILDING PERMITS 158 158 16,073
BANKRUPTCIES 45 45 3,441