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Tom Davis named interim secretary to Board of Trustees

July 13, 2007
By Alison Wayner

Tom Davis, a faculty member in the College of Education's Counselor Education Program since 1985, has been named interim secretary to the Ohio University Board of Trustees, succeeding Alan Geiger.

Tom Davis photo by Rick FaticaDavis, a professor of counseling and higher education, served as interim dean of the College of Education from July 2005 through June 2006. He also has worked as coordinator of the Counselor Education Program, chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education, and associate dean of the College of Education. 

"This is a terrific opportunity to really serve the university and the people of the state of Ohio," Davis said. "I have immense respect for Alan Geiger and the work he has done, so it's a little daunting to think about stepping into this role." 

Geiger, who was assistant to the president and secretary to the Board of Trustees, retired on June 30, concluding a 40-year career with the university. The position was restructured to become chief of staff and special assistant to the president, and a candidate search is now under way. The chief of staff will manage the day-to-day operation of the president's office, including managing the budget, handling employment-related matters and tracking major projects.

Davis will serve in the interim board secretary post one year, and a search will be conducted in spring 2008 to fill the position in the long term. President Roderick J. McDavis said he and the trustees will take time to evaluate and redefine the position, a process in which Davis will participate.

Davis assumes his new role Monday. He will devote 51 percent of his time to his faculty duties and 49 percent to his board secretary role. Although he said striking that balance will be difficult, he believes he is getting the best of both worlds. 

"I love to work with students and alongside my colleagues in the College of Education," Davis said. "I think my role as professor will be very beneficial to my work with the board." 

College of Education Dean Renee Middleton also is excited to see Davis take on this new role and said the college is proud of the work he has done and continues to do. 

"The college is thrilled to have one of our own serve the university in this capacity," she said. 

As secretary to the board, Davis will be responsible for directing the overall operation of the Office of the Board of Trustees. Duties will include advising the trustees and president on protocol and procedure; overseeing arrangements for trustee representation at university functions; advising trustees and the president on emerging issues; and responding to inquiries about trustee actions and university policies by coordinating with internal and external constituency groups. 

Davis holds a doctorate in counselor education from Ohio State University in cooperation with Miami University and a master's degree in counselor education from Marshall University. As an advocate for the counseling profession, Davis has been a leader in national, state and local organizations. He recently chaired a statewide committee for school counseling regulation reform that resulted in one of the state's largest increases in graduate student enrollment in school counseling preparation.

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