Contact: Gabrielle Maxey
May 1, 2014 - M. David Rudd was named the 12th president of the University of Memphis
today when the Tennessee Board of Regents approved the recommendation of Chancellor
John Morgan. He succeeds Shirley Raines, who was president from 2001-2013, and University
of Memphis alumnus and business executive R. Brad Martin, who has served as interim
president since July 1, 2013.
“I look forward to leading the University of Memphis into the next chapter in its
storied history, to supporting and serving our students, continuing our excellence
in the classroom, expanding vibrant and impactful research, and strengthening our
ties to the city of Memphis,” said Rudd, immediately after the board’s vote.
“Dr. Rudd is committed to the University and has a strong vision for its future,”
said Morgan. “He has worked closely with the interim president over the past year,
and the work they have done in a short period of time has been notable.”
Rudd, who has served as the University’s provost since March 2013, brings a distinguished
record to the position. As the University’s chief academic officer, he has been involved
in all aspects of University operations, including business and finance, community
relations, research, athletics and development. He has spearheaded an effort to increase
student recruitment, retention and degree completion, which has already shown substantial
“I am thrilled with the selection of David Rudd as president of the U of M. During
this past year, he has proven to be an outstanding leader and a great partner for
me in intensifying the University's focus on student success, valuable research and
effective service,” said Martin. “He is committed to the significant role the University
has in building a bright future for this community, and I am grateful he will lead
this important institution.”
Rudd’s administrative and teaching experience spans almost 30 years in roles in Texas
and Utah. Before being named provost at the U of M, he was dean of the College of
Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Utah from 2009-2013. While there,
he helped the college recover from a $1 million debt to a surplus of more than $3
million through targeted restructuring, improved accountability and efficiency measures.
Before joining the University of Utah, Rudd was professor and chair of the Department
of Psychology at Texas Tech from 2006-2009. He was professor and chair of the Department
of Psychology at Baylor University in 2004-2005 and spent the previous four years
as a professor and director of Baylor’s doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. He
also was a faculty member at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Throughout his career, Rudd has been responsible in part for more than $18 million
in research grant funding, including more than $3 million for research to help military
populations through the U.S. Army/Department of Defense Military Operational Medicine
Research Program. He has continued his affiliation with the National Center for Veterans
Studies at the University of Utah as co-founder and scientific director, a role that
has garnered much national attention. Rudd has testified seven times before the U.S.
Congress on issues related to veterans and suicide.
He earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a
master’s degree in psychology from there as well. He holds a bachelor’s degree from
Rudd was selected as president of the University of Memphis after a national search
that resulted in more than 70 applicants. He and his wife, Dr. Loretta Rudd, an associate
professor at the U of M, have two children, Nicholas and Emma.