"As the University of Cincinnati works through our academic master plan to redefine higher education in the 21st century, we need a strong academic leader who can communicate an effective vision for the future,” Ono said. “Dr. Davenport has demonstrated, after an extensive nationwide search, that she is that leader. Her success in reinvigorating the faculty, her leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion, her passion for students, her award-winning efforts in the classroom, her stellar reputation in her scholarly field and her deep-seated commitment to strengthening the academic core has positioned her particularly well for the role of chief academic officer. I look forward to partnering with her and the deans to move UC’s academic success to new heights.”
“I instantly felt a sense of connection with the UC community,” Davenport said. “The University of Cincinnati is clearly on the move, and the energy is contagious. I am very honored to be joining President Ono and one of the nation's top 25 public research universities.”
Most recently serving as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Purdue University, Davenport managed a broad portfolio of faculty-focused initiatives, ranging from recruitment and retention to resource allocation and faculty development. She also was responsible for administering faculty policies, including grievances, conflict of interest cases and promotion and tenure. New initiatives under her leadership included: cluster hiring; strategic opportunity hiring; bridge funding hiring; dual career assistance programs; and faculty success and retention efforts. These programs were complimented by a strategic partnership with Harvard’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education and a Faculty of Excellence campaign to increase the number of endowed professorships.
At Purdue, Davenport led the Provost’s Fellows Program, the Department Head Leadership Program and New Faculty Orientation. With the goal of advancing inclusion and broadening representation in academic leadership, she directed the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, founded Purdue Women Lead and launched the Distinguished Women Scholars Program. As Associate Provost, she directed Purdue’s Discovery Learning Research Center. Under her leadership, the Center doubled external funding to $30 million and forwarded a digital-media, games-based learning initiative for which she and her team received the Mira Award in 2008 for educational contributions to technology.
Davenport has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator for more than $18 million of funding from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, most of which has supported student success programs primarily for underrepresented students in STEM disciplines. She has received NSF funding for studies in leadership and change management for engineers. Organizational assessments and evaluation research have been supported by private foundations and industry contracts.
In addition to authoring more than one hundred papers and articles, Davenport has published three books on quality of work life issues and workplace civility. Her recent book with Lutgen-Sandvik, Destructive Organizational Communication, won an Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association. Davenport is also an award-winning teacher who was named a University of Kentucky Great Teacher, a University of Kansas Kemper Fellow, Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa outstanding professor, and the Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Profession from the National Communication Association.
Davenport earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and bachelor's degrees in communication and journalism from Western Kentucky University. Prior to Purdue, she was a senior fellow in the Office of the Provost at Virginia Tech University, divisional dean for the social sciences at the University of Kansas and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky. She is the mother of two: Sloan, a daughter who recently graduated from Vanderbilt in biomedical engineering and Ford, a former Army Ranger who will attend Columbia this fall.