Board of Regents

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Board members

Jerry P. Rhoads
Jerry P. Rhoads
about Jerry P. Rhoads

Jerry P. Rhoads, Vice Chair, from Madisonville, Kentucky, is in private law practice with Rhoads & Rhoads in Madisonville. Mr. Rhoads received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Murray State University in 1963. He earned the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1966 and was Judge Advocate General Corps with the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1970. Mr. Rhoads served on the Kentucky State Senate, 6th District, from 2003 – 2014 and served on various committees including Judiciary, Education, Economic Development, Tourism and Labor, Capital Projects and Bond Oversight, Veterans and Military Affairs and Public Protection and Banking and Insurance. He has served as a member of the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys since 1981 serving in various roles including President, President-elect, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Mr. Rhoads also served on the Board of Governors (First District 1981 through 1988), was former Chair of KATA Workers' Compensation Section, founder and former editor of KATA Workers' Compensation Review and has served as speaker at numerous KATA seminars on Workers' Compensation and Trial Practice. He is a member of the Hopkins County Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association and a former delegate for the American Trial Lawyers Association. He served on the Governor's Task Force on Workers' Compensation in 1980 and the ad hoc committee appointed by House Leadership to draft workers' compensation legislation for the 1994 General Assembly. Mr. Rhoads was a member of the Murray State University Alumni Association Board of Governors, the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Board of Directors (former President) and he testified before various committees of the Kentucky General Assembly in areas of tort law, automobile insurance and workers' compensation. Mr. Rhoads was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to fill the expired term of Constantine W. Curris. His term on the Murray State Board expires in 2021.

Eric Crigler
Eric Crigler
Vice Chair
about Eric Crigler

Eric F. Crigler, CFA, is a veteran of the financial services industry, having helped found firms in the fields of investment management, health care services, reinsurance and consumer finance. Mr. Crigler serves as Director of the Capital Markets Academy and is a Lecturer in Finance and Investments at the University of Indiana-Bloomington. He previously served as President and CEO of Mount Moriah Partners, a consumer financial services holding company, for five years and in the same capacity at Skyhawk Reinsurance, LLC, an automobile reinsurance firm. He founded Skyhawk Capital Management in 2005 and served as its Principal and Chief Investment Officer. Under his tenure the firm grew from $25 million to a peak of $300 million in assets under management. The company was named one of the “Top Ten Fastest Growing Firms” by Financial Times’ website and also among the “750 Largest Worldwide Institutional Money Managers” by Pensions and Investments magazine. Mr. Crigler was also a founding investor in Strategic Behavioral Health, a multistate behavioral health organization. For more than eight years prior, Mr. Crigler held senior level positions such as Equity Portfolio Manager and Equity Research Director at Strong Capital Management, a $45 billion money management firm based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Mr. Crigler received a Master of Business Administration in finance and economics in 1996 from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He has served on the Reese Fund Investment Board at Indiana University since 2000. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and earned the right to use the CFA designation in 1998.

Before starting his business career, Mr. Crigler was chosen in the tenth round of the 1990 National Football League Draft. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1990-91, helping his team to the AFC Central Division championship. Later, he played in the World League of American Football for the Frankfurt Galaxy in Germany.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Mr. Crigler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Murray State University in 1990. While at Murray State, he was awarded a National Collegiate Athletic Association postgraduate scholarship and the Ohio Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Award. After arriving at Murray State as a walk-on under College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Frank Beamer, Mr. Crigler was eventually named to the Associated Press Division I-AA All-America Team, the Academic All-America Team and was twice named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference Team.

Mr. Crigler was appointed by Governor Matt Bevin and his term on the Murray State Board expires in 2022. He and his wife, the former Wege Rushing of Murray, have three children; Maggie, Abi and Lily.

Virginia Gray
Virginia Gray
about Virginia Gray

Virginia Gray is the Director of Government Relations for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Mrs. Gray has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Western Kentucky University.

Since being with TVA, she has influenced the creation of the Kentucky Caucus of TVA Legislators, assisted to pass bills lifting the moratorium on nuclear energy in Kentucky and distribution of more TVA In-Lieu of Tax monies going back to TVA counties for economic development. Previously a former state lobbyist, she represented a broad array of interests for JYB3 Group - including healthcare, mental heath, justice reform, corrections and transportation.

Virginia serves on the board of the Tennessee Valley Corridor, a network whose purpose is to sustain existing federal missions, compete for new federal investments and leverage those investments to grow more private sector job opportunities. She is the representing member for the First Congressional District of Kentucky. She is also Chairman of the Trilogy Foundation, a non-profit organization assisting residents at Trilogy Center for Women, a Recovery Kentucky program. As a signature fundraising event for the foundation, she created the Commissioner’s Golf Classic and Farm to Table Dinner, partnering with the Kentucky agriculture and tourism cabinets, highlighting Kentucky Proud products and venues.

Virginia and her husband, Robert, live in Hopkinsville with their three children. Her term on the Board of Regents expires in 2024.

Sharon Green
Sharon Green
about Sharon Green

Sharon Green retired as a crime victim advocate in the Graves County Attorney's Office in Mayfield, Kentucky, after 25 years of service. She received the Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Murray State University and has completed all required coursework for the Master of Arts Degree in Education. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Jackson Purchase Medical Center from 2001 to 2017 and was Chairman of the Board for 2007-08. She also served on the Grace Medical Center Board from 2010 to 2017. She was appointed to the Mayfield First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees in 2015. She has been a member of the Mayfield Rotary Club since 1999, serving as President of the club (2005-06) and is on the Mayfield Rotary Foundation Committee. She is currently Chair of The Dictionary Project and the Jimmy Thomas Scholarship Committee. She served as Assistant Governor of Rotary Club District 6710 (Mayfield, Murray, Hickman, Fulton and Clinton) from 2007-10; was appointed in July 2019 for a second term as Assistant Governor of Rotary District 6710 and will be serving clubs in Mayfield, Marshall County and Murray. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce from 2005-12 and also served as Treasurer. She was an elected member of the Mayfield City Council from 2008-10. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Area Substance Abuse Program in Graves County and the Coming Home Ministry that is opening a homeless shelter in Mayfield. In 2015, she retired from the Board of Directors of the Graves County Child Advocacy Program/CASA after serving 25 years; from the Graves County Family Resource Youth Service Center after 15 years and Community Collaborations for Children after 14 years. She served on the Murray State University Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2001-08 and was President in 2006-07. Ms. Green was named Business Woman of the Year for 2018 by the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce. Her first term on the Murray State Board of Regents was from 2009-15 and she was reappointed by Governor Beshear for a second term which expires in 2021. Ms. Green is the proud mother of two sons and enjoys being a grandmother to two granddaughters.

Warren Norman
Warren Norman
Student Regent
about Warren Norman

Warren Norman, native of Henderson County, Kentucky, and a 2017 graduate of Henderson County High School, is a Murray State University senior majoring in Agribusiness. Warren currently serves as President of the Murray State University Student Government Association (SGA), where he previously served as a Senator for White Residential College and Vice President of Administration. He has been a brother of Alpha Sigma Phi since the Fall of 2017, as well as Inter-Fraternity Council Recruitment Chair for the 2019-20 calendar year. Warren has also served as a Student Ambassador since the Spring of 2018, Agriculture Ambassador since Spring of 2019 and is the 2019 Murray State University Homecoming King. Warren is currently serving a one-year term as Student Regent after being elected by his peers in March 2020 – and hopes to continue helping to bridge the gap between students and the University.

Leon Owens
Leon Owens
about Leon Owens

Leon Owens of Paducah, Kentucky, is President of Swift & Staley, Incorporated. The firm is based in Paducah with 165 employees but has projects located in Ohio and Washington, D.C.. The small business government prime-contractor is 100 percent employee-owned and has been recognized as an exceptional facility support services company. Before being named President of Swift & Staley, Mr. Owens held positions of increased responsibility ranging from Human Resource Manager, Operations and Maintenance Manager, Corporate Development Manager and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Swift & Staley, he worked 15 years as a Production Operator at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

Mr. Owens earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Murray State University. He serves as a Board member for the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce and Paducah/McCracken County Joint Sewer Agency. Mr. Owens is Vice President of Portsmouth Mission Alliance, is a former member of the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board and is a former member of the presidential-appointed Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. His term on the Murray State Board expires in 2025.

Lisa Rudolph
Lisa Rudolph
about Lisa Rudolph

Lisa Rudolph is the Co-owner of Rudolph's, Inc. and Co-owner of Rudolph Freight, Inc. in Murray, Kentucky. She received both a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Murray State University as well as a Master of Science degree in Nursing Education. Mrs. Rudolph published her research "Registered Nurse Perceptions of Nursing Practice" in the publication, Kentucky Nurse, the official publication of the Kentucky Nurses Association. In addition to extensive clinical and administrative practice, her professional career has included serving as a preceptor for Murray State University students bridging education to practice. While on campus she was a member of Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society and Alpha Gamma Delta social sorority for which she has served in an advisory capacity.

Mrs. Rudolph is dedicated to giving back by supporting students in the Commonwealth. She and her husband Robbie, a former Murray State student, founded the Four Rivers Foundation in 2010. The Foundation provides educational enhancing opportunities for 3,200 students in five western Kentucky districts. These districts include the counties of Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton and Hickman, as well as Fulton Independent, two area technical centers and one career and technical center. Since its inception, these districts have realized significant increases in student ACT scores, graduation rates and enrollment in post-secondary education. The Foundation is partnered with Murray State University and West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Previously Mrs. Rudolph served two terms on the board of trustees for the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky navigating through the accreditation process. Mrs. Rudolph was appointed by Governor Matt Bevin to fill the expired term of Harry Lee Waterfield II. Her term on the Murray State Board expires in June 2022.

Regent Phil Schooley
Phil Schooley
about Phil Schooley

Phil Schooley of Murray, Kentucky, is the Telecommunications Systems Management On-line Advisor for Murray State University and serves as the Staff Regent. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education with an industrial arts major from Murray State University and a master of arts in teaching degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He was a secondary school educator for 33 years before coming to Murray State in 2001. He has held leadership roles in many educational and community organizations which included being the founder of Technology Student Association Clubs in the state of Missouri and serving as its state advisor and as state sponsor for the Missouri chapters of The National Beta Club. During his career he has been the recipient of the "Outstanding Industrial Arts Teacher in Missouri" award, the Missouri State Teacher Association's “Southeast District Meritorious Service Award," the “AIASA Distinguished Service Award,” the “2011 Murray State University Staff Excellence Award” and the “2013 - Dr. Gary Brockway TSM Faculty/Staff Excellence Award.” He has held leadership roles in his church and Lions Club and is a member of the Masonic Lodge, a Kentucky Colonel and a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He served as Murray State Staff Congress President in 2008-09.  Mr. Schooley and his wife, Virginia, have one son, Brian, who is married to Michele; and they have two sons, Garrett and Gavin. His term on the Murray State University Board of Regents expires in 2021.

Regent Meloney Shemberger
Dr. Melony Shemberger
about Dr. Melony Shemberger

Dr. Melony Shemberger is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University, with a double major in mass communication and history and government. She also earned a master’s in mass communication from Murray State University; a master’s in management from Austin Peay State University; and a doctorate in administration and supervision, with a concentration in higher education, from Tennessee State University.

Dr. Shemberger has published in several peer-reviewed publications, including Journalism History, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator and the Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication Journal. She also has several book chapters published and professional articles in guidebooks published by the PR News Press and has presented at several academic and professional conferences.

Most recently, Dr. Shemberger was selected for the Wiki Scholars Program to edit and write Wikipedia entries pertaining to women’s suffrage. In 2017, she was a Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy Fellow at Louisiana State University. In 2014, she was named a Business Journalism Professors Seminar Fellow. One of 14 faculty members from across the nation, she completed the fellowship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. At Murray State, she was a Provost Faculty Teaching Fellow, Interim Director of the Faculty Development Center in 2016 and an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education and Human Services in 2012-13. Since Summer 2017, she has taught in the Governor’s Scholars Program, a five-week camp for top high school seniors in Kentucky. She is also a Level 1 Google Educator, and since 2014 has served as an at-large representative on the Murray State Faculty Senate and was Vice President in 2016-17.

Dr. Shemberger is a lifetime member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the top academic interdisciplinary honor society in the nation and on campus, where she serves as Chapter President. In addition, she was a Director from 2016-18 on the Society’s national Board and was Chair of the Advisory Council for Phi Kappa Phi’s Forum magazine. Honor society memberships also include the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society and others. She is a member of the American Journalism Historians Association, the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Education Writers Association.

In April 2019, Shemberger was elected by her peers for the faculty seat on the Murray State University Board of Regents. She will serve a three-year term, which expires in 2022.

Dr. Don. I. Tharpe
Dr. Don I. Tharpe
about Dr. Don I. Tharpe

Dr. Don I. Tharpe’s career in association management spans more than 30 years. Tharpe served as Chief Operating Officer of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards, Inc. CFP Board is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. that serves the public interest by promoting the value of professional, competent and ethical financial planning services, as represented by those who have attained the CFP certification. Dr. Tharpe also served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF). PAHEF is a U.S. based public charity that works with the Pan American Health organization and other strategic partners to mobilize resources and jointly address key public health priorities. Tharpe served as President and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF). The CBCF, established in 1976, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute focused on leadership education, public health, economic development for African American and other underserved populations. Prior to that appointment he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Council on Foundations (COF). COF is a nonprofit membership association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations. COF has a staff of 110 and budget of approximately $18 million. There he was responsible for the management of the Council’s internal operations.

Dr. Tharpe was also Executive Director of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO), a position he held for 12 years. ASBO is a nonprofit professional membership association that provides programs and services to promote the highest standards of school business management practices, professional growth and the effective use of educational resources. Before holding that post, he was ASBO’s Director of Professional Programs for four years.

For more than seven years prior, Tharpe held multiple senior level positions at the Association for Career and Technical Education including Assistant Executive Director for Membership, Assistant Director of Government Relations and Director of Administrative Services. Prior to his career in association management Tharpe was employed at the Missouri State Department of Education as its Director of Trade and Vocational Education.

In addition to Dr. Tharpe’s extensive management background, he has consulted for a number of nonprofit organizations, written numerous articles on association management and served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a former Vice Chair of its Board. As well, Tharpe is an ASAE Fellow, an honor bestowed on fewer than 200 association executives from ASAE’s membership of over 25,000. Tharpe is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Bluegrass, in Lexington, Kentucky, is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and is Vice Chair of the Alpha Beta Lambda chapter’s educational foundation.

 A native of Mayfield, Kentucky, Tharpe is a graduate of Murray State University where he received both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Tharpe received the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Murray State University and the 2018 African American Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. His term on the Murray State Board expires in 2023.


Delegation of Authority

Strategic Directions Statement

Conflict of Interest Principles

Position on Performance Funding

Board agendas

Public Participation Guidelines


Board Policy Manual

2020-21 Meeting Dates

Board meetings are streamed live at

The Board approved the 2020-21 Board of Regents Meeting dates earlier today as follows:

  • Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Annual Retreat
  • Friday, August 28, 2020 – Summer Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting
  • Friday, December 4, 2020 – Fall Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting
  • Friday, February 26, 2021 – Winter Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting
  • Friday, June 4, 2021 – Spring Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting

Minutes of Recent Meetings

Full Board and Committee minutes