Key Initiatives & Strategic Planning

President Doug Hicks outlines key initiatives that will advance Davidson's educational purpose, and build on our shared values and mission to shape our future.

Strategic working groups have been formed in support of each initiative. These working groups consist of a diverse representation of members who come from all divisions and areas of the college, including students, faculty, staff, and former and current trustees.

Each of the four working groups will be seeking input from staff, faculty, students, and the wider college community in the coming weeks, producing reports and updates along the way.

To share ideas and feedback at any time please email  

The strategic planning work will have four points of focus:

Learning for the Future

The core mission of Davidson is to educate students for lives of leadership and service – today and tomorrow. This group will help our faculty explore and adopt effective and innovative teaching strategies and engage with new fields of knowledge. It will lay the foundation for Davidson to tackle the signal challenge facing educators today: harnessing generative AI for deep learning and ethical work.

Concept Paper (Davidson Login Required)

Working Group

  • Mark Barsoum, co-chair Assistant Professor of Biology & Math, Science, and Economics Center Director & Director, John Crosland, Jr. Center for Teaching & Learning
  • Laurie Heyer, co-chair Associate Dean for Data & Computing, & Kimbrough Professor of Math & Comp. Science
  • Andy Berndt, Trustee
  • Tim Chartier, Joseph R. Morton Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Sara Copic, Assistant Director of the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative
  • Kevin Davis, Chief Information Officer
  • Caroline Fache, Assistant Dean of Curricular Development & Chair & Professor of French & Francophone Studies
  • Rebeca Fernandez, Writing Center Director & Associate Professor of Writing and Educational Studies
  • Amy Gascon, Education Program Manager, The Hurt Hub
  • Jacob Heil, Assistant Director of Digital Learning, Library
  • Katherine Hu ‘25
  • Michelle Kuchera, Associate Professor of Physics
  • Mark Sample, Chair & Professor of Digital Studies

Discovering Passions, Developing Purpose 

Davidson’s liberal arts approach to education has never been more valuable. Graduates must build the capacities to think critically and creatively, to express themselves in written, verbal, analog and digital ways, to collaborate in diverse groups, and to continue learning throughout their lives and careers. This group will focus on how Davidson can more fully connect classroom learning and mentoring, other educational and work experiences, and engagement with alumni/ae with professional pathways. 

Concept Paper (Davidson Login Required)

Working Group

  • Lisa Combs ‘90, co-chair Associate Vice President of Engagement
  • Cindy Hauser, co-chair Associate Dean for Educational Policy & Professor of Chemistry
  • Pete Benbow’07, Manager of Data Operations, T&I
  • Besir Ceka, Chair & Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Angie Dewberry ’00, Registrar and Director of Advising
  • Connor Hines ‘26
  • Naila Mamoon, Director of Premedicine and Allied Health & Assistant Professor of Public Health
  • Jane Mangan, John and Ruth McGee Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program & Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History and Latin American Studies
  • Gaylena Merritt, Director of Fellowships
  • Jennifer Garcia Peacock, James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
  • Italy Ramos ‘25
  • Deidra Smith, Director of Alumni and Family Engagement
  • Jamie Stamey, Executive Director of Career Development, Matthews Center for Career Development
  • Jordan Starck ‘12, Trustee

Building Public Good

This group will help our students put into practice the humane instincts cultivated at Davidson to make the world more compassionate, sustainable, and just. A Davidson difference across the globe will be the empathy and mutual respect that our graduates model in their lives. Davidson College will become a “go-to place” where constructive conversations and innovative public solutions emerge to problems that are local, regional, national, and international. 

Concept Paper (Davidson Login Required)

Working Group

  • Katherine Bersch, co-chair Nancy Akers and J. Mason Wallace Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Dan Layman, co-chair Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Yancey Fouché, Director of Sustainability
  • Dylan Glenn ‘91, former Trustee
  • Sharon Green, Professor of Theatre
  • Jalyssa Hobbs ‘25
  • Daniel Lee ‘26
  • Bob McKillop, Leader-in-Residence
  • Ken Menkhaus, Professor of Political Science
  • Brittany Murray, Partin Assistant Professor of Educational Studies & Political Science
  • Lia Newman, Director & Curator of Art Gallery, Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Stacey Riemer, Associate Dean of Students & Director of the Center for Civic Engagement
  • Shyam Gouri Suresh, Associate Professor of Economics

Engaging Davidson and Greater Charlotte

Davidson is among a very few top-ranked liberal arts colleges within, and benefitting from, a major metropolitan market. We want to embrace the educational and partnership opportunities in the region’s diverse population, finance and tech leadership, non-profit and civic strength, vibrant arts and culture, professional sports teams, and hub airport. This working group will focus on how the college can more fully leverage its location and contribute educational resources to the Town of Davidson and the Greater Charlotte area.

Concept Paper (Davidson Login Required)

Working Group

  • Liz Brigham ’04, co-chair W. Spencer Mitchem ‘59 Director for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Vikram Kumar, co-chair Professor of Economics
  • Emily Eisenstadt, Associate Director of Student Activities
  • Joseph Piko Ewoodzie, Associate Professor of Sociology & Vann Professor of Racial Justice 
  • Stephanie Glaser ‘92, Associate Vice President for Campus & Community Relations
  • Ray Jacobson, Chief Investment Officer
  • Will Keible, Director of Marketing & Corporate Support
  • Jeff Kniple, Director of Athletic Development
  • Mary Tabb Mack ‘84, former Trustee
  • Sherry Nelson, Director of Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement
  • Marcus Pyle, Franco Professor of Humanities & Assistant Professor of Music
  • Valeria Salgado ‘25


Campus Plan Advisory Group

A campus plan advisory committee will be formed in the coming days, led by David Holthouser, Director of Facilities and Engineering, and in partnership with an external firm. They will develop a road map for future facilities that enable us to steward our magnificent campus. Members of the advisory group will be announced shortly.