Board of Regents

Regent Stephen A. WilliamsStephen A. Williams, Chair, is CEO of Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky, a regional, not-for-profit, faith-based integrated healthcare delivery system. He has been with Norton since 1977 and has served as its top executive since 1993. He began his career as administrator of Livingston County Hospital, in his home county, from 1972 to 1977 at age 22 after graduating from Murray State with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He later completed a master's degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota in 1978. He has received Distinguished Alumnus awards from both of those universities. Under Mr. Williams' leadership Norton has risen to be consistently rated as one of the nation's top 100 healthcare systems. The system provides over 51% of the healthcare in Louisville, which includes five hospitals, 20 outpatient centers, 227 sites of services, including over 2,000 physicians (700 employed), providing over 2.6 million patient encounters annually, including 67,500 hospital admissions. With over $2.4 billion in assets, and $2 billion in annual net revenues, Norton has over 12,250 employees, making it Louisville's third largest private employer. Mr. Williams has served in numerous state and national healthcare leadership roles, including Founding Chair of Kentucky Healthcare Collaborative, Chair of Health Insights Foundation, Chair of American Hospital Association (AHA) Regional Policy Board (and AHA Board member), Chair of Kentucky Hospital Board (and numerous other roles over 40 years of membership) and leadership roles in University Medical Center, Passport Health Plan and many other healthcare-related boards and associations. He has also served in many civic leadership roles, including Founding Co-Chair of Greater Louisville Inc. (Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development), Kentucky State Chamber Board, Chair of Regional Workforce Development Board, Leadership Louisville, Metro United Way, Bellarmine University and many others. He has received numerous local, state and national honors/awards, including leadership awards from Murray State, University of Minnesota, University of Kentucky, American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Forum, Health Insights, Kentucky Hospital Association, Business First of Louisville, YMCA, Junior Achievement, Volunteers of America and National Quality Forum. Mr. Williams and his wife, Kathy (also a Murray State alumnus), reside in Louisville and also have a home on their family farm in Livingston County. They have two sons and three grandchildren. His term on the Murray State Board expires in 2018.


Regent Susan GuessSusan Guess, Vice Chair, is Senior Vice President/Marketing Director for Paducah Bank in Paducah, Kentucky. Mrs. Guess has a bachelor of science degree in public relations from Murray State University and a master of public administration degree from the University of Louisville. She and her daughter are co-founders of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation. They both were appointed to the Kentucky Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force. They lobbied for a bill to define bullying in Kentucky and that bill became law in April 2016 and will impact all 1,233 public schools and 630,000 Kentucky students. She also chaired the Lourdes Hospital Foundation board for six years. She was only the second woman to chair the Paducah Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and only the second person to chair twice. She was named Kentucky's top volunteer twice. The first time in 1998 after she chaired a campaign to build a $100,000 memorial garden at Heath High School and again last year for her anti-bullying efforts throughout the state. She and her daughter won the Kentucky Justice Association Consumer Safety Award. She also won a national HUD community service award after starting Girl Scout troops in Paducah's public housing. She contributed to the Applied Public Relations college textbook (authored by Murray State Professor Marie Hinton). She has won nearly 20 Telly Awards for her bank television commercials and has been recognized nationally for her bank social media efforts. Mrs. Guess filled the unexpired term of a former Regent which ended in June 2013 and was then reappointed to the Board. Her term on the Murray State Board expires in 2019.

Regent Dr. Walter G. BumphusDr. Walter G. Bumphus is president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). From 2007 to January 1, 2011, Bumphus served as a professor in the Community College Leadership Program and as chair of the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin. He also held the A. M. Aikin Regents Endowed Chair in Junior and Community College Education Leadership. He previously served as president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) from 2001 to 2007. LCTCS later conferred upon him the title of President Emeritus of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. From November 2000 to September 2001 he was chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC). Prior to joining BRCC, Bumphus worked in the corporate world serving as president of the Higher Education Division of Voyager Expanded Learning. Six years prior, he served as president of Brookhaven College in the Dallas County Community College District.
Bumphus holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Murray State University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1992, Bumphus was recognized as a distinguished graduate from both Murray State University and The University of Texas at Austin. Bumphus holds the distinction of being one of the few leaders in the field of education to receive the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Marie Y. Martin CEO of the Year Award, to chair the AACC Board of Directors and to receive the AACC Leadership Award. While he has received a number of accolades for his service to higher education, one of the recognitions he is most proud of is receiving an honoris causa doctorate in education from his alma mater, Murray State University. In 2016 he was acknowledged by the National Council for Student Development for his work in higher education by the organization renaming its leadership development program in his honor. He was also recognized for his outstanding contributions to education by NASPA, Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education. He also received the Inaugural Marie Fielder Medal from Fielding Graduate University and the John Roueche and Terry O’Banion International Leadership Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Bumphus was appointed by President Barack Obama to several prestigious commissions and task forces. He was appointed in 2012 to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, in 2013 to the Presidential Commission on Excellence for African Americans, in 2014 to a task force on sexual assaults on college campuses and to a Presidential Task Force of the State Department’s 100,000 Strong Initiative to encourage more U.S. students to study abroad and to attract 100,000 students from abroad to study at U.S. colleges and universities. Dr. Bumphus was appointed by Governor Matt Bevin to fill the expired term of Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton. His term on the Murray State Board expires in June 2022.


Regent Katherine FarmerKatherine Farmer, of Murray, is the Education Research and Instruction Librarian and Director of the College of Education and Human Services Curriculum Materials Center for Murray State University and serves as the Faculty Regent. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Mississippi College in 1994 and a Master of Library and Information Science with an emphasis on K-12 school libraries from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2005. Ms. Farmer was a secondary English teacher and K-12 school librarian for 13 years before coming to Murray State University in 2010. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Board of Regents’ Award for Teaching Excellence. She has had an active research agenda focusing on K-12 school libraries and informational literacy that has led to national presentations and publications. She currently serves as co-chairperson of the American College and Research Libraries Educational and Behavioral Social Science Section ERIC Users Committee. During her time at Murray State University, she has served on various university committees, including Academic Council and Faculty Senate. Ms. Farmer served as the Murray State Faculty Senate Vice President from 2014 to 2016. Her term on the Murray State University Board of Regents expires in 2019.


Regent Sharon GreenSharon 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 has served on the Board of Trustees for the Jackson Purchase Medical Center since 2001 and was Chairman of the Board from 2007-08. She was appointed to the Grace Medical Center Board in 2010 and 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, Joe and Ella Evan's Scholarship Committee 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. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce from 2005-12 and was an elected member of the Mayfield City Council from 2008-10. 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. Ms. Green is the proud mother of two sons who are also Murray State alumni and is enjoying being a grandmother to two granddaughters. She served on the Murray State Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2001-08 and was President in 2006-07. 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.

Regent J Daniel KempJ. Daniel Kemp is an attorney in private practice in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He is former Mayor of Hopkinsville, having served two terms from 2007 through 2014. He is a native of Murray and graduated from Murray State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English and History. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1970 and was admitted to the Bar to practice law. He then served four years in the United States Army and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain in 1975. Mr. Kemp was an attorney in private practice in Hopkinsville for 32 years prior to being elected Mayor in 2006. His law practice focused on business and real estate matters including civil litigation.
Mr. Kemp has served on the Board of Governors of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Board of Directors of Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company of Kentucky, the Executive Board of the Kentucky League of Cities, the Board of Trustees of Jennie Stuart Medical Center, the Board of Directors of Pennyrile Area Development District and the boards of many other civic and charitable organizations including Rotary Club, United Way (Campaign co-chair 2012), Pennyrile Arts Council and the Jaycees. He is active in First United Methodist Church in Hopkinsville where he has chaired the Administrative Board, the Finance Committee and the Staff Parrish Relations Committee. He is married to Henrietta Venable Kemp and they have five children and six grandchildren. His term on the Murray State Board expires in 2020.


Regent Jerry P. RhoadsJerry P. Rhoads 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.


Regent Lisa RudolphLisa Rudolph is Co-owner of Rudolph’s, Inc. and Co-owner of Rudolph Freight, Inc. in Murray, Kentucky. Mrs. Rudolph holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from Murray State University and has dedicated her life to giving back in support of students in the Commonwealth. In addition to her professional career in nursing, she and her husband Robbie, a former Murray State student, founded the Four Rivers Foundation in 2010 which provides opportunities for students in four Kentucky school districts: Fulton Independent, Fulton County, Hickman County and Carlisle County. 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 SchooleyPhil Schooley of Murray 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 and a Kentucky Colonel. He served as Murray State Staff Congress President in 2008-2009. 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 2018.


Dr. Don. I. TharpeDr. Don I. Tharpe's career in association management spans more than 30 years. Tharpe served as Chief Operations Officer of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. CFP Board is a non-profit organization headquarted 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 & CEO of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation. 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 & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. 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. The Council on Foundations 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 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 positions at the American Vocational Association (AVA) 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 non-profit organizations, written numerous articles on association management and served on the board of several nonprofit organizations. He is a long-time member and has served on the board of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives. He is also 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.

A native of Mayfield Kentucky, Tharpe is a graduate of Murray State University (KY) where he received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Tharpe received the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Murray State University. He earned his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic & State University in Blacksburg, VA. His term on the Murray State Board expires in 2023.


Regent Tori WoodTori L. Wood was elected President of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Murray State University in March 2017. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations with a minor in Graphic Communications Technology. With her interest in working for the public alongside graphic design, Ms. Wood plans to pursue a career in the magazine industry. She is a 2014 graduate of Marshall County High School. Since her arrival to Murray State in Fall 2014, she has been actively involved on campus. She remains an active member of the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and served as the Panhellenic Council President for the 2015-2016 term. She has also remained heavily involved in the Office of Recruitment. From August 2015 to May 2017, she worked as a student worker in the office and also served as a Student Ambassador for three consecutive semesters. During the summers of 2015 and 2016, Ms. Wood served as a Summer Orientation Counselor and was selected as a Lead Counselor for her second year. Amongst her involvement, she has used her public relations experience to serve on the PRSSA Public Relations Firm while also pursuing media literacy research. Her research along with team members was published in the first issue of The Steeplechase, an ORCA student journal, in Spring 2017. She has also incorporated her Graphic Communications minor to pursue different passions. She currently works as a University photographer for the Office of Marketing, Branding and Communications while also serving as a Page Layout Designer and Copy Editor for the Murray State News. In the summer of 2017, Ms. Wood served as an Intern for the Vuecommedia Group of Paducah, KY where she “made a difference” with VUE Magazine and “created killer content” for Social Sharkz. Ms. Wood has also remained actively involved in the Student Government Association, serving as a Senator, Chief of Staff, Vice President of Administration, and President. Lastly, Ms. Wood was honored to be crowned Ms. Murray State University in April 2017. Her term on the Murray State Board expires in 2018.


Delegation of Authority
Delegation of Authority

Strategic Directions Statement
Strategic Directions Statement

Conflict of Interest Principles
Statement of Conflict of Interest

Position on Performance Funding
Statement and Position on Performance Funding

Board agendas
Media Announcement and Agenda for Quarterly Board of Regents Meetings

Public Participation Guidelines
Public Participation Guidelines for Open Board of Regents Meetings

List of Board Committee Members

Board Policy Manual
Section 1 - Policy
Section 2 - University
Section 3 - Employees
Section 4 - Faculty
Section 5 - Students
Section 6 - Governance Units
Section 7 - Agreements

2018-19 Meeting Dates

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018 (Board of Regents Advance)
  • Friday, August 31, 2018 (Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting)
  • Friday, October 19, 2018 (Board of Regents Meeting)
  • Friday, December 7, 2018 (Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting)
  • Friday, March 1, 2019 (Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting)
  • Friday, June 7, 2019 (Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting)

Minutes of Recent Meetings
Full Board and Committee minutes