Brad Martin to Serve as Interim President at University of Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Shelby County businessman and former Saks Inc. CEO Brad Martin will run the University of Memphis until a successor to retiring President Shirley Raines is found.
Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan appointed Martin to the temporary post Tuesday.
According to The Commercial Appeal (, Morgan was ready for questions about whether a businessman could effectively lead U of M when he appeared before students and faculty members Tuesday.
“I believe he has a clear understanding of the value of the university and the role the university plays in society more broadly than simply the business connection,” Morgan told them.
During an interview at his East Memphis office, Martin said he will not be a candidate to succeed Raines and his mission is to maintain momentum
“There are a lot of good things going on the university, and during this transition period it’s important we do not miss a beat,” Martin said.
Martin said it was Raines who first approached him about becoming interim president and he agreed after discussions with Morgan, Gov. Bill Haslam and Regents Vice Chairman Greg Duckett.
Martin doesn’t see establishment of an independent board to govern the university as a job priority for him. Nor does he expect to argue against declining state revenue flowing to U of M.
“I wouldn’t count on that,” he said.
The better route would be to pursue grants, partnerships with private industry, internships and other support outside of government, Martin said.
Martin is a 1976 U of M graduate and chaired the school’s Board of Visitors and the University of Memphis Foundation Board.
He is a native of Columbus, Ohio.
While studying political science at what was then Memphis State University, Martin served as president of the Student Government Association. He eventually earned a bachelor’s degree, but it was interrupted when he was elected at age 20 to the Tennessee General Assembly where he served three terms in the House of Representatives.
Martin earned his MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

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