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.


Carolyn Mahoney

Dr. Carolyn R. Mahoney, Chair


Dr. Carolyn Mahoney was appointed to the CBHE by Governor Jay Nixon in December 2012. She served as president of Lincoln University in Jefferson City from 2005 until her retirement in 2012. She has had a distinguished academic career, beginning as an assistant professor of mathematics at Denison University in Granville, Ohio in 1984. She chaired the mathematics department at California State University San Marcos until 2000, when she became dean of the school of mathematics and then provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, the position she held prior to becoming president of Lincoln University.


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. She was a Zonta Woman of Achievement in 2009 and received the Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance from the American Association of University Professors in 2007.


Douglas R. Kennedy, Vice-Chair


Douglas R. Kennedy was appointed to the CBHE by Governor 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 Governor 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 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.


Brian Fogle

Brian Fogle


Brian Fogle was appointed to the CBHE by Governor Jay Nixon in January 2012. Fogle is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. He previously served as director of community development for Great Southern Bank and in several positions with the banking industry in southwest Missouri for more than 20 years.


Fogle, a Democrat from Springfield, received bachelor's and master's degrees in banking and finance from the University of Mississippi. In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Drury University.


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 Governor 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.


Dalton Wright


Dalton Wright


Dalton Wright was appointed to the CBHE by Governor 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, served as president of the National Newspaper Association and the Missouri, Central Missouri, and Ozark press associations. He was inducted into the Missouri Press Hall of Fame in 2000. Wright is a current member of the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Ambassadors. Wright is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and received the University of Missouri Faculty Alumni Award in 2006.


Zora Mulligan, Commissioner of Higher Education