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 DrakePresident 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, Kentucky. for nine years. Dr. Drake also held the position of Vice President for Business Affairs at Lees College in Jackson, Kentucky.

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, Tennessee. His Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree also is from Vanderbilt.


Bill Sheehan

Dr. Bill Sheehan Jr.

Dr. Bill Sheehan Jr. re-joined the Central Methodist family in February 2020 as Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations. He worked in Central’s student life and advancement office in the late 1980s and 1990s.
Dr. Sheehan has had great success in higher education advancement and has worked in development for many years.

In 1997, Sheehan earned his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Missouri, where he also received his master’s. He earned his bachelor’s in 1984 at Central. His wife, Wendy is also a two time graduate of Central.

His hobbies include golf, going to sporting events, and visiting with family.


Brad Dixon

Bradley Dixon 

A Central Methodist University alumnus and employee since January of 2015, Mr. Dixon currently serves as the Vice President for Student Life in the Inman Student and Community Center. His previous titles include Associate Dean (2015-2018) and Dean of Students (2018-2022).

Dixon was a member of the baseball team and active in Student Government Association while attending Central Methodist. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Recreational Administration & Business Management in 2007.

He and his wife, Natalie, also a CMU graduate, are parents of two children, Hayden and Henley.


Chad Gaines

Chad Gaines

A Central Methodist University employee since 1995, Mr. Gaines currently serves as Vice President for Technology and Planning 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, Missouri.

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


Dr. Rita Gulstad

Dr. Rita Gulstad

A Central Methodist University employee since 1991, Dr. Gulstad currently serves as Provost, with offices in 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, Missouri.

Her hobbies include genealogy and reading. 


Dr. Melissa Mace

Dr. Melissa Mace

Dr. Melissa Mace serves Central Methodist University as the Vice President for Enrollment Management. She oversees Admissions, Financial Aid, and Marketing & Communications.

Dr. Mace holds a Doctor of Education, Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri, a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Missouri State University and Bachelor of Science in Communications from Drury University, both in Springfield, Missouri.

Her hobbies include photography, playing pickleball and disc golf, and hiking. She loves spending time with her family dogs.



Julee Sherman

A Central Methodist University employee since 1985, Mrs. Sherman currently serves as Vice President for Finance and Administration. Her office is located in Brannock Hall.

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

Her hobbies include attending basketball and Kansas City Royals games, and spoiling her five wonderful grandchildren.