Recognizing the Legacy of David Rudd

Floor Speech

Date: March 17, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KUSTOFF. Madam Speaker, I rise today to talk about the legacy of David Rudd, who is retiring as the president of the University of Memphis.

Dr. David Rudd came to the University of Memphis in 2013 as the provost for the university. He had previously served as the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science and scientific director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.

President Rudd succeeded Dr. Shirley Raines as president and Brad Martin as interim president of the University of Memphis, becoming the University of Memphis president in 2014.

The University of Memphis has a student population of around 22,000 students, with 17 bachelor's degrees in more than 250 areas of studies, master's degrees in 54 subjects, doctoral degrees in 26 disciplines, and graduate certificate programs in 44 areas of study. The University of Memphis also has one of the finest law schools in the southeast United States.

No matter your alma mater, one thing most can agree on is that it is extremely challenging leading a school of higher education today, especially in the era of COVID.

With that said, the University of Memphis has flourished under David Rudd's tenure as president. There have been a number of major accomplishments during this time. Maybe the most significant achievement during the David Rudd era is the University of Memphis obtaining the research classification known as R1 by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. For the first time in its history, this puts the University of Memphis in the top tier of research universities across the Nation.

I asked my friend, Doug Edwards, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Memphis, about David Rudd. Doug told me: ``David Rudd is a transformative leader who has had a profound impact on the University of Memphis. He has elevated the stature of the university to that of the second flagship university in Tennessee and a top-tier research institution.''

Soon Dr. Rudd will take a well-deserved sabbatical from his leadership and administrative duties. When he comes back to the University of Memphis in the next year, he will return to teaching and research as a distinguished professor of psychology and will run the new Rudd Institute for Veteran and Military Suicide Prevention at the University of Memphis.

The institute is appropriately named. As a veteran of the Gulf war and a former Army psychologist, David Rudd is one of the Nation's leading experts on suicide prevention among our Nation's veterans.

We wish the utmost best to him and his wife, Dr. Loretta Rudd, herself a distinguished educator and researcher in higher education.

On behalf of the many alumni and residents of the Eighth Congressional District of Tennessee, Roberta and I congratulate, salute, and honor David Rudd for his remarkable and outstanding tenure as the president of the University of Memphis.