Miles Davis, Ph.D., dean and professor of management at Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, has been named the 20th president of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Dr. Davis will succeed Thomas L. Hellie, Ph.D., who will depart Linfield on June 30, after serving 12 years as president of the college. Davis will begin his new appointment on July 1.
“Miles Davis has so many tremendous gifts as a leader, visionary thinker and communicator,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. “He employed those gifts well in ways that raised the profile of Shenandoah University and the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business. Because of his efforts, Shenandoah is well-positioned to attract another great business school dean.
“His departure also marks the end of an era, as he is likely the last dean who will have met the school’s namesake,” said Dr. Fitzsimmons. “Shenandoah’s loss is a great gain for Linfield College. I am confident that he will be a terrific college president.”
Davis is the first college president to come out of The Ph.D. Project, a network that helps members of underrepresented communities attain doctorates and become leaders in higher education. He will be the first African-American president in Linfield College’s 160-year history.
“Shenandoah University and the Byrd School have been a part of my life for 17 years,” said Dr. Davis. “I have learned a lot from our faculty, staff and administrators. The university and the greater community have been a very supportive, collaborative environment for me.”
Davis joined the university’s faculty in 2001 as assistant professor of business management and founding director of the Business Institute for Entrepreneurship. He was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and to professor in 2012, the same year he was appointed dean.
During his tenure, Davis increased enrollment for the business school by 77 percent and increased full-time faculty from 13 to 25, while also making the business school one of the most diverse schools on campus.
Davis has been actively involved in global experiential learning, leading many business school and university-wide study abroad trips, immersing students in a variety of cultural and business perspectives, and attracting students to campus from other countries.
He has also received many accolades for his work as a faculty member and administrator, including the James R. and Mary B. Wilkins Appreciation Award, Teacher of the Year Award and the Student Government Association’s Award for his commitment to students.
“I am excited about the challenges in front of me, even as I know I will miss my dear friends and colleagues who I have come to know over the years,” said Davis. “Shenandoah is a place that attracts a lot of talent. It says a lot about the kind of place it is, in that, over the past five years, two college presidents have come from its ranks. It’s that kind of a place.”
Davis will continue in his role at Shenandoah throughout the remainder of the academic year. A national search to fill the position will begin immediately.