UC Interim President Beverly Davenport Selected as UT Knoxville Chancellor

University of Cincinnati Interim President Beverly J. Davenport has been selected by the University of Tennessee (UT) System President Joe DiPietro to serve as the 8th Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the state's flagship campus.

DiPietro’s recommendation of Davenport's appointment will be presented to the UT Board of Trustees at a special meeting Thursday, Dec. 15. Her appointment will make her the first female to lead the Knoxville campus. Pending the Board of Trustees’ approval, she will begin at UT Knoxville March 1, 2017.

 

"I’m so very grateful for the privilege of serving as the University of Cincinnati’s interim president and provost. I have grown to love this institution, this city, and the many colleagues and friends I have come to know,” said Davenport. “Because of my experience here, I have the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as the next chancellor of the University of Tennessee's flagship campus. I am inspired by their confidence in my abilities to help them reach their goal of becoming a top-tier public research university. I also look forward to the chance to be closer to family.”

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to congratulate Dr. Davenport on her appointment as the 8th Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I also want to extend our heartfelt thanks for her countless contributions to the University of Cincinnati, first as provost and now as interim president,” said Robert E. Richardson Jr., Chair of the UC Board of Trustees. “From faculty hiring to student success to inclusive excellence, Dr. Davenport has positioned UC extremely well for our next century of success. I invite all of you to join the Board in wishing Dr. Davenport the very best.”

Davenport was appointed by the UC Board of Trustees to serve as interim president beginning July 15. Prior to that, Davenport served as UC’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost since July 2013.

As an experienced administrator, accomplished scholar and award-winning teacher, Davenport had previously served as vice provost for faculty affairs at Purdue, dean of social sciences at the University of Kansas and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky. She also served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Melbourne, Australia.

 

At UC, Davenport collaborated with the university’s senior leadership, faculty, staff and students to advance the university’s goals outlined in its Creating Our Third Century plan: investing in faculty and staff, reimagining the student experience, leveraging research and excelling in eLearning.

Under her leadership, UC has enjoyed rising retention and graduation rates as well as record-setting enrollment for four consecutive years with the total number of students now standing at over 44,300. With student success initiatives and rising numbers of graduates, UC has provided 34% of the increase in undergraduate and master’s degrees awarded by public universities and colleges in the state of Ohio in the last five years.

Davenport’s UC tenure also has been marked by aggressive faculty recruitment initiatives she launched, including a $60 million Cluster Hiring Initiative, a Strategic Hiring Opportunity Program and a Dual Career Assistance Program that has significantly increased the number of women and underrepresented minority faculty hired. The number of female faculty hired has nearly doubled since she came to the university. Another recent innovation she started is UC’s new Urban Futures Cluster hiring initiative, designed to recruit faculty whose research, teaching and scholarship focuses on opportunities and challenges facing urban areas.

In support of student success, Davenport also has increased UC’s international engagement with faculty and student partnerships while doubling the number of students who study abroad. She has invested in mental health counseling, student services, eLearning and access and opportunity programs including the formation of the UC Summer Scholars Academy, a summer residential program for Hughes STEM High School students. She championed a Textbook Affordability Initiative, which has gained state-wide attention and saved students $1.9 million in its first year.

She also has increased investments in equity and inclusion and worked to bring branding alignment among the university and its major affiliates, including UC Health and the UC Foundation.

Davenport has teamed with UC Athletics Director Mike Bohn to use mobile technology to improve student-athletes’ study habits and their access to study materials while traveling. These programs have resulted in record improvements in athletes’ academic performance. Davenport and Bohn have also worked in partnership to use athletic facilities for innovative classroom spaces, such as the newly renovated Nippert Stadium and the planned improvements at Fifth Third Arena.

She also brought together the oldest co-op program in the world with the university’s Career Development Center to reimagine experiential education for the 21st century in a merged unit called the Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education.

In the coming weeks, the university is planning a farewell event to thank President Davenport for her service.

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