Dr. Donald K. Carson was born in Oneida, Tennessee. He attended the University of
Kentucky on a football scholarship, receiving his undergraduate degree in History
from there as well as his doctorate in Diplomacy. After teaching Political Science
and History at private and public colleges, he worked at Marshall University in West
Virginia before coming to The University of Memphis (known then as Memphis State University)
in 1974 as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. He became Vice President
for Student Affairs in 1976 and from 1992 – 2002 also held the position of Vice Provost
for Enrollment Services. He was Interim Athletic Director twice during his tenure
at The University of Memphis, as well as having responsibility for Women’s Athletics
from 1975-1980. He also taught Political Science as an adjunct professor during most
of his career. He retired in 2003.
Dr. Carson has a national reputation in Student Affairs, receiving the Region III
John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer from
the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 2002. He conceived
and has hosted the Memphis In May Student Affairs Conference (MIMSAC) since 1988.
Dr. Carson is best known for his connections with students and his never-ending concern
for their representation and well-being on campus – he never forgets a student he
meets. He is a constant source of support for hundreds, thousands, of current and
past students. He has been a strong advocate in paving the way for a significant minority
student population on campus.