Provost Gayle Davis announces 2017 retirement

Provost Gayle R. Davis will retire next summer; a search committee to find a successor is forming.
Provost Gayle R. Davis will retire next summer; a search committee to find a successor is forming.

Grand Valley's Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Gayle R. Davis will retire next summer. 

Davis announced her intentions to faculty and staff members in a message July 11. She was appointed provost in 2002 and became only the second person in Grand Valley history to hold the position. During her tenure, she shepherded a major reorganization of the university's colleges as well as oversaw major growth in enrollment and significant success in retaining students through graduation.

President Thomas J. Haas noted Davis' many accomplishments and her campus leadership.

"Gayle has left an indelible mark on Grand Valley and Michigan," Haas said. "She's the consummate academic leader, and she worked with all groups on and off campus, positioning Grand Valley for the future. Student success is Gayle's North Star. Her efforts with faculty and staff in restructuring a 21st century university led to increasing enrollments and a record number of graduates through the application of relevant and rigorous curriculum and co-curricular programming. She also provided service to our community, making it a better place to work and live. I could not have asked for a better partner."

Davis will have more to say about her plans July 15 at the Board of Trustees meeting. Board Chair David Hooker spoke on behalf of the trustees thanking Davis for her role in Grand Valley's success. 

"Gayle made countless contributions to Grand Valley's success and reputation," Hooker said. "By providing a year's notice of her retirement, the university will have sufficient time to undertake the difficult task of finding her successor."

Davis holds a doctorate in American Studies and a master's degree in art history from Michigan State University. She earned a bachelor's degree in French from Muskingum College. Before coming to Grand Valley in 2002, she was the associate vice president for Academic Affairs and Research at Wichita State University.

Haas said the university will conduct a nationwide search for Davis's successor. The search will be co-chaired by Jon Jellema, recently retired associate vice president for Academic Affairs and associate professor emeritus of English; and Teri Losey, secretary to the Board of Trustees and executive associate to the president. Members of the search committee will be announced at a later date.