Beverly J. Davenport, PhD
Beverly J. Davenport, PhD, served from July 2016 to February 2017 as Interim President of the University of Cincinnati, one of the nation’s top public research universities and an institution ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top tier of the Best National Universities.
She left UC to become the first woman chancellor of the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Prior to her appointment as Interim President by UC’s Board of Trustees in July 2016, she served for three years as UC’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost – the university’s chief academic officer.
During her UC tenure, Davenport launched aggressive faculty recruitment initiatives, including a $60 million Cluster Hiring Initiative, a Strategic Hiring Opportunity Program and a Dual Career Assistance Program that significantly increased the number of women and underrepresented minority faculty hired. The number of female faculty hired nearly doubled.
In supporting student success, Davenport also increased UC’s international engagement with faculty and student partnerships while doubling the number of students who study abroad. She invested in mental health counseling, student services, on-line learning 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 gained state-wide attention for helping students save millions of dollars.
Davenport also was a partner with UC’s Athletics Director Mike Bohn in using mobile devices to improve student-athletes’ study habits and their access to study materials while traveling. These programs resulted in record improvements in athletes’ academic performance. Davenport and Bohn also collaborated to use athletic facilities for innovative classroom spaces, such as the renovated Nippert Stadium.
She also merged the oldest co-op program in the world − UC’s Professional Practice and Experiential learning division (ProPEL) − with the university’s Career Development Center to reimagine experiential education for the 21st century.
Another of her innovations was the launch of the Urban Futures Cluster hiring initiative, designed to recruit faculty whose research, teaching and scholarship focuses on opportunities and challenges facing urban areas.
Prior to her appointment at UC, Davenport served as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Purdue University, where she managed a broad portfolio of faculty-focused initiatives, ranging from a $70 million faculty cluster hiring initiative to faculty development programs including the launch of women's leadership programs. Before her tenure at Purdue, Davenport was a senior fellow 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.
Davenport is an accomplished scholar who has authored more than 100 papers and articles. She published three books on quality of work life issues and workplace civility. She is an award-winning teacher who has been recognized for excellence in education at the national level and for her advances in technology-infused learning at the state level. Earlier in her career, she was named a University of Kentucky Great Teacher, a University of Kansas Kemper Fellow for Excellence in Teaching, and a Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa outstanding professor.
Davenport has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator for more than $18 million of funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and various foundations.
She earned a PhD in communication with a cognate in organizational behavior and management from The University of Michigan and bachelor's degrees in communication and journalism from Western Kentucky University in her hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky.