Former Hopkinsville Mayor Dan Kemp will serve as the next chair of the Murray State University Board of Regents. Regent Kemp was elected to the position in a board meeting on Friday.
Former state Senator Jerry Rhoads of Madisonville was elected vice chair.
Current chair Susan Guess is stepping down as her term expires on June 30. She has served as a board member for nine years and was elected chair last year. Lisa Rudolph currently serves as vice chair.
Guess said she is not seeking reappointment to the board because she wants to spend more time with her daughter. Guess is also Senior Vice President/Marketing Director for Paducah Bank. She and her daughter are co-founders of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation.
In her final report, Guess said Murray State is in a better position today than one year ago. She reiterated this point throughout Friday's meeting. Her tenure as chair included the appointment of a new university president, a new athletic director, an historic athletic season and other academic and marketing changes.
Ongoing challenges include budget cuts largely due to increasing pension obligations and declining state appropriation as well as the need to boost enrollment. Despite challenges, Guess said she feels Murray State is moving in the right direction.
She said what she'll miss the most is recruiting students. "There is nothing more satisfying than helping a student realize they can get a college degree and build their own dreams," she said.
Kemp thanked Guess for her service and said he would try to do as good a job as she has, working with the entire board and making it a team effort.
Also departing the board are student regent J.T. Payne and faculty regent Katherine Farmer. Replacing them are Trey Book and Melony Schemberger, respectively. The governor will appoint someone to fill Guess’ seat.