New UT Board To Include Three Former Athletes, Including A Basketball Star | Nashville Public Radio

New UT Board To Include Three Former Athletes, Including A Basketball Star

Apr 9, 2018

If Gov. Bill Haslam gets his way, three former athletes will soon be part of the University of Tennessee's new 12-person board.

Acting just days after state legislators approved the governor's proposal to reorganize UT's Board of Trustees, Haslam released his slate of nominees Monday. 

They include Kara Lawson, a former Lady Vols basketball player who's now a basketball analyst on ESPN; Brad Lampley, a lawyer who played football at UT; and Bill Rhodes, a former UT-Martin golfer and the chief executive of AutoZone.

The new board will oversee affairs at UT's flagship campus in Knoxville, as well as UT-Martin, UT-Chattanooga and the UT Health Sciences Campus in Memphis.

"This restructuring will improve the effectiveness of the board and positively impact the multiple campuses that comprise the UT system," Haslam said in a prepared statement. "Additionally, the advisory boards will create a culture of creativity at the campus level, and will allow each of the boards to respond nimbly to the needs of their respective institutions."

Lawson played on three UT basketball teams that made the Final Four under Coach Pat Summitt and on the 2008 Olympic team that won a gold medal in Beijing. She also played 12 seasons in the WNBA before becoming a commentator.

She's one of three women and one of three non-white nominees who were included in Haslam's 10 picks. The state's agriculture commission and a non-voting student representative will also be on the new board.

State lawmakers are expected to hold a confirmation vote on the nominees before they adjourn for the year. If legislators approve, the appointments are scheduled to take effect July 1.

The complete list of the governor's nominees follows:

  • John Compton, former President of PepsiCo and current partner with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
  • Kara Lawson, former Lady Vol and current basketball television analyst for ESPN and the Washington Wizards
  • Donnie Smith, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Tyson Foods
  • Sharon Pryse, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Trust Company
  • Kim White, President and Chief Executive Officer of River City Company 
  • Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AutoZone
  • Melvin Malone, former Special Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and current practice group leader with Butler Snow LLP
  • Bill Evans, former Director and Chief Executive Officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 
  • Raja Jubran, Chief Executive Officer of Denark Construction 
  • Brad Lampley, former Tennessee Volunteers football player and current partner in charge of the Nashville office of Adams and Reese, LLP