Shirley Raines served 12 years as president of the University of Memphis and was the first woman to hold that position. She is now president emerita and spends her time speaking, consulting, training, and writing. Previously she was the vice chancellor for academic services and dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She is a former classroom teacher, Head Start director, and childcare center director. Raines holds a doctorate in education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she also earned her MS degree. Her BS degree is from the University of Tennessee at Martin. As part of her continuing education, she completed the Management Development Program from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Raines has served on the faculty or administration of universities in Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Alabama. In 1991 she received the Distinguished Faculty Award for the College of Education while she was a professor at George Mason University.
Raines is a past president of the Association for Childhood Education International, which awarded her the Patty Smith Hall Life Time Achievement award in April 2002. She served on the selection committee for the National Teacher of the Year award and has received honors for her leadership in teacher education, including a Phi Delta Kappa Chapter award for Distinguished Service to Education and two distinguished papers awards from the Eastern Educational Research Association.
Major themes of her higher education leadership have been interdisciplinary research, expanding internships, and building partnerships on and off campus. As a community leader, Raines served as the first female chair of the Memphis Regional Chamber. She serves on several nonprofit boards including Memphis Tomorrow, Methodist Healthcare, Lifeblood, Higher Education Division of the United Way, and WKNO Board of Trustees.
Shirley Raines lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband, retired Professor Robert J. Canady.