Senior Staff

The Senior Staff at Central Methodist University, directed by the President, meets regularly to determine administrative-level actions at CMU. It develops and proposes policy, fiscal direction, and short- and long-range planning for the University, subject to approval by the President and review and action by the CMU Board of Trustees.

President Roger Drake

President Roger Drake

Dr. Roger D. Drake is the 26th President of Central Methodist University. Prior to joining CMU in 2013, Dr. Drake was the Vice President of Administration and Finance at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky. for nine years. Dr. Drake also held the position of Vice President for Business Affairs at Lees College in Jackson, Ky.

Dr. Drake, after arriving at CMU, has served in several leadership roles. They include chair of the Heart of America Athletic Conference’s Council of Presidents, chair of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri (ICUM), secretary for the Missouri Colleges Fund, Program Chair and 2nd Vice President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC), and a member of the teaching faculty for the Council of Independent College’s (CIC) New Presidents Program.

Dr. Drake served the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in multiple roles, and the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities Business Officers.

Dr. Drake attended Lees Junior College in Jackson, Kentucky, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Eastern Kentucky University, and holds a Master of Business Administration/Executive MBA degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. His Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree also is from Vanderbilt.

Dr. Rita Gulstad

Dr. Rita Gulstad

A Central Methodist University employee since 1991, Dr. Gulstad currently serves as Provost in the Provost’s office in CMU’s Brannock Hall.

She received her Master of Arts in Library Science degree, Master of Arts in Romance Languages degree, and Doctor of Philosophy in Romance Languages degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

Her hobbies include genealogy and reading.

Chaid Gaines

Chad Gaines

A Central Methodist University employee since 1995, Mr. Gaines currently serves as vice president for Technology and Planning in Technology Services in Cupples Hall/Smiley Library.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems degree from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo., and Master of Science in Computer Information Systems degree from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.

His hobbies include family, hunting, classic cars, and Star Wars.

Dr. Josh Jacobs

Dr. Joshua Jacobs

A Central Methodist University employee since 2013, Dr. Jacobs currently serves as vice president of Advancement and Alumni Relations in Advancement and Alumni in CMU’s Brannock Hall.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology/Pre-medicine degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., Master of Arts in Organizational Management degree from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Doctorate of Education degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

His hobbies include spending quality time with his family and reading non-fiction.

Ken Oliver

Kenneth Oliver

A Central Methodist University employee from 1999-2009, and again since 2012, Mr. Oliver currently serves as vice president for Institutional Growth and Student Engagement in Student Development in CMU’s Student and Community Center. He also serves as the university’s Title IX officer.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Health degree, and Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree from CMU, and his Master of Science in Science Education degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.

His hobbies include family, boating, fishing, CMU athletics, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

Dr. Joe Parisi

Dr. Joseph Parisi

The Vice President for Enrollment Management at Central Methodist University, Dr. Parisi joined CMU in July 2017. He directs the Admissions, Financial Aid, and Marketing Communications departments. 

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nonprofit Administration and Recreation Administration from Missouri Valley College before going on to earn a Master of Science degree in Business Administration-Nonprofit Administration, and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership, both from Lindenwood University.

Parisi and his wife Brenda are parents of two daughters.

Julee Sherman

Julee Sherman

A Central Methodist University employee since 1985, Mrs. Sherman currently serves as vice president for Finance and Administration in the Business Office in CMU’s Brannock Hall.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Management and Administration degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., and Master of Business Administration degree from University of Missouri in Kansas City, Mo.

Her hobbies include attending basketball and Kansas City Royals games, and spoiling her grandsons.