May 17, 2004
Ohio University Board of Trustees Chairman Robert D. Walter has announced the appointment of Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D., as the next president of Ohio University. The Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting in early June to formally elect McDavis as the 20th president of the university and to introduce him to the Ohio University and Athens community. His appointment is effective July 1, with McDavis expected to assume full-time duties on campus around mid-August.
McDavis, who earned his bachelor's degree in social sciences in secondary education from Ohio University in 1970, is provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., positions he has held since 1999.
"Dr. McDavis was identified from a strong group of candidates who were brought to campus, and we feel confident that he has the distinctive professional and personal skills and vision to continue the legacy of strong presidential leadership that has marked the University for decades," Walter said.
"This is an outstanding person and he and his wife will make an outstanding team. Dr. McDavis has the personality to be a successful leader of Ohio University. He brings unique characteristics to this position with a proven ability to build consensus. He is also a visionary leader who, I'm certain, will be able to effectively develop strategic planning and increase the academic quality of the University," Walter said.
"I am very honored and deeply humbled to accept the position of president of Ohio University. It's a very unique and special opportunity to be able to return to my alma mater as president. My wife, Deborah, and I look forward to coming home to Ohio and Ohio University and the Athens community. We want to work with others to help lift Ohio University to the next level of excellence," McDavis said.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, McDavis has a progressive and broad career in higher education.
He served as dean of the College of Education and professor of education at the University of Florida from 1994 to1999. McDavis was dean of the College of Education and professor of counselor education at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, from 1989 to 1994 and served as the director of the Arkansas Academy for Leadership Training and School-Based Management from 1992 to 1994. He was professor of education in the Department of Counselor Education the University of Florida from 1974 to 1989 and was associate dean of the University of Florida Graduate School and Minority Programs from 1984 to 1989.
McDavis has served as chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. His scholarly and research contributions include authored or co-authored chapters in books, monographs and articles in professional journals and other publications.
McDavis has been a consultant and keynote speaker. In 1995, he was named Person of the Year in Education by "The Gainesville Sun." He was named the 1996 Outstanding Alumnus of the Ohio University College of Education. He also received the Post-Secondary Outstanding Educator Award from the North Central Florida Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa in 1996 and the 1997 Black Achiever's Award in Education from the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators.
McDavis earned his master's degree in student personnel administration from the University of Dayton in 1971 and his doctorate in counselor education and higher education administration from the University of Toledo in 1974.
McDavis is the second alumnus to lead Ohio University and the first since William Henry Scott held the office from 1872 to 1883.
The terms of his contract are being negotiated and will be finalized at the June special meeting.
McDavis and his wife have two grown sons.
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