The Coordinating Board for Higher Education was established by an amendment to the Missouri Constitution in 1972. The nine-member board oversees the Department of Higher Education, which serves as the administrative arm of the board and is led by the commissioner of higher education.

The board members — one from each of Missouri's eight congressional districts and one selected at large — are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The board members serve six-year terms.


Dr. Carolyn R. Mahoney, Chair


Dr. Carolyn Mahoney was appointed to the CBHE by Gov. Jay Nixon in December 2012. She served as president of Lincoln University in Jefferson City from 2005 until her retirement in 2012. Prior to joining Lincoln University, she was an assistant professor of mathematics at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, chaired the mathematics department at California State University San Marcos, and served as dean of the school of mathematics, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina.


Mahoney, a Democrat from Jefferson City, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Siena College in Memphis, Tenn. She earn master’s and doctoral degrees, also in mathematics, from Ohio State University.


Douglas R. Kennedy, Vice-Chair


Douglas R. Kennedy was appointed to the CBHE by Gov. Jay Nixon in September 2013. Kennedy is an attorney and has been active with the Boy Scouts of America and other philanthropic organizations. Kennedy also raises cattle and plays bass in a bluegrass band.


Kennedy, a Democrat from Poplar Bluff, is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Memphis Law School.


Mike Thomson, Secretary


Mike Thomson was appointed to the CBHE by Gov. Jay Nixon in April 2016. Thomson was a Missouri state representative from 2007 to 2014, where he was a member of several education committees and served as chair of the Higher Education Committee for four years. He also served as a commissioner for the Midwest Higher Education Compact.


Thomson, a Republican from Maryville, currently is marketing and development director for the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri. He previously worked as an instructor of psychology at Northwest Missouri State University and was a high school teacher, counselor, and principal. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees and certification in guidance and counseling and secondary school administration from Northwest Missouri State University.


Carl Bolm


Carl Bolm was appointed to the CBHE by Gov. Eric Greitens in August 2017. Bolm is the founder and owner of Investa Management, the parent company of BSR Services, Cedar Lake Cellars,The Battlegrounds Mud Run.


Bolm, a Republican from Huntleigh, is a member of the Snow and Ice Management Association Board of Directors, Old Newsboys Board of Directors, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and Bussey Bank Advisory Board.


Samuel Murphey


Samuel Murphey was appointed to serve on the CBHE by Governor Jay Nixon in April 2016. Murphey is an external affairs lead for the Monsanto Company, headquartered in St. Louis. He previously was a senior manager on Monsanto's executive communications team. Prior to joining Monsanto, he served as communications director for Gov. Jay Nixon.


Murphey, a Democrat from St. Louis, serves on the board of DOORWAYS Interfaith Residence and PROMO, Missouri's statewide organization advocating for LGBT equality. He is a volunteer with the Missouri Boys State program. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Truman State University.



Bobby Robertson


Bobby Robertson was appointed to serve on the CBHE by Gov. Eric Greitens in August 2017. Robertson is the chief executive officer of Omnigo Software and chairman of the board of HEALTHCAREFirst Inc., a health care software technology company.


Robertson, a Republican from Kimberling City, is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Louisiana Tech University.


Shawn Saale


Shawn Saale was appointed to serve on the CBHE by Gov. Eric Greitens in August 2017. Saale is a partner at Saale & Bailey, LC. He specializes in estate law, business succession planning, and charitable giving. He is a member of the American, Missouri, and St. Charles County Bar Associations and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.


Saale, a Republican from Defiance, serves on the board of directors for Enterprise Bank & Trust and the board of directors for Emmaus Homes. He is past president and Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of St. Charles - Sunrise. He also served as chairman of the board for SSM St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital West Foundation and as a director for Community Living, Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Dalton Wright


Dalton Wright


Dalton Wright was appointed to the CBHE by Gov. Jay Nixon in October 2010. Wright is president/owner of Ozark Media, a company made of community newspapers and radio stations located in south central Missouri. He served 32 years in the military, retiring at the rank of colonel in 2000. He also served 10 years as the civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for Missouri (West), a position appointed by the president. He is the former chair of the Lebanon Downtown Business District and the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission.


Wright, a Republican from Conway, has served as president of the National Newspaper Association and the Missouri, Central Missouri, and Ozark press associations and is a member of the Missouri Press Hall of Fame. Wright is a current member of the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Ambassadors. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Zora Mulligan, Commissioner of Higher Education