Richard Davis Appointed Dean of Academic Life

 

Richard Davis, associate dean of faculty and classics instructor, has been appointed Dean of Academic Life, effective July 1.

In an announcement to the Hotchkiss community, Merrilee Mardon, associate head of school, wrote: “Richard has served our community in many different ways and always with deep care and attention to individual and collective needs and well- being, which he has shown time and again in his role as the COVID-19 Coordinator.” 

When the pandemic arrived and the School began an intensive process of planning and adapting to fulfill its educational mission, Davis agreed to take on the important role of Covid Coordinator, work that he has continued to perform under challenging circumstances.

He collaborates closely with colleagues on-and-off campus, keeps up-to-date on emerging science and best practices, and consistently exercises thoughtful judgement to balance community safety, individual needs, and the quality of the student experience, Mardon noted.

“His balanced judgement, collaborative spirit, and clear communication will serve the School well as Richard moves into the role of dean of academic life,” she added. 

Davis joined the Hotchkiss faculty in 2006. He served as a head of the Classical and Modern Languages Department from 2008-2013. In 2016-2017, he was a faculty leader in the effort to revise the School’s mission, and he played a key role on the 2017-2018 working group that imagined and planned for the School’s first all-gender dorm.

In his current role as associate dean of faculty, he oversees three key areas: the Penn Fellows Program, new faculty orientation and mentoring, and faculty housing. He has also been an essential member of the School’s recruitment team and its efforts to reimagine recruitment and retention from the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, Davis serves as the varsity sailing coach. 

He holds a B.A. in Classics from Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, and an M.S.Ed. in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. As part of his graduate studies at UPENN, Davis engaged in a study of communication at Hotchkiss, research that informed the creation of Monday Memo, a faculty resource. 

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