Dr. Shirley Raines retiring from U of M - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Dr. Shirley Raines retiring from U of M

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After twelve years at the University of Memphis President Shirley Raines has announced she is stepping down from her post on June 30th.

She's presided over an era in school history that ran the emotional gamut from the school being hit with one of the stiffest penalties ever issued by the NCAA.

Les Smith reports the school's first woman president applied her own style to problem solving. 

Shirley Raines took over a university whose business college was on the verge of losing its accreditation.  A law school library that was flooding every time it rained heavily.  And technology programs were more applicable to the 20th century rather than the 21st.

To understand and appreciate how far the university has come under her leadership you have to remember where it was.  As news of her retirement becomes public Raines accomplishments, especially in raising the academic standards and generating new revenue streams for a school formerly in financial crisis, cannot be overlooked, nor should her hesitance to become more deeply involved with the inner workings of the often embattled U of M athletic department.  Yet in spite of being courted by other colleges and universities over the years Raines loyalty to the U of M appeared never to be in question. 

Dr. Shirley Raines worked from early in the morning until late at night to turn things around and secure a place of excellence for the University in academic history.  In addition to the successes Les mentioned, there is The FedEx institute of Technology, the University Center.  The Bell's Tennessee native not only raised the level of education performance, she set records.

  • $250 Million Capital Campaign:  The largest capital campaign goal in the school's history
  • Doubled the number of sponsored research grants and contract awards
  • Grew the campus reach with the establishment of the Lambuth Campus.
  • Most Student enrollment growth in history:  enrollment has grown to more than 22,000 students with the university awarding 4,033 degrees in 2012

The list is extensive and with all the academic and capital success as you heard Les say, some in Tiger Nation will only remember their feeling, good or bad, about what she did in sports.

In a sit down interview this afternoon in her office, I asked Dr. Raines about sports and academics.

Tonight at 9 we'll have more from Dr. Raines interview, including her response about the handling of the NCAA violation by one student athlete and we talked about what her husband did to mark the announcement of her retirement June 30.   

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