Mercer University President William D. Underwood has announced the appointment of Dr. D. Scott Davis, currently vice provost and a tenured faculty member in the Chemistry Department, to the new position of senior vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies, effective immediately.
“The appointment of Dr. Davis to this new position is an important first step in the university’s efforts to increase its research activity and to coordinate graduate programs,” Underwood said. “It follows a recent study by the Faculty House of Delegates that included recommendations for greatly expanding institutional support for faculty research throughout the university. Dr. Davis is well equipped to lead this initiative, and I am very pleased that he has agreed to assume this responsibility.”
“Achievements in research and scholarship are vital to our educational mission, and it is appropriate that we focus greater attention on support for these areas,” said Provost Horace W. Fleming Jr. “Scott brings energy and insight to this role, and we look forward to his leadership.”
As senior vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies, Davis will supervise the Office of Sponsored Research and Graduate Studies and the Institutional Review Board. He also will have administrative responsibility for all graduate degrees programs and research initiatives across the University, including policies and practices.
An important component of the position will involve promoting the development of undergraduate-graduate collaborations and facilitating the development of interdisciplinary cross-college research projects. Davis will serve as chair of the Graduate Council and will promote the recruitment, admission and retention of graduate students.
“I am very excited by the opportunity to work with our dedicated faculty and staff colleagues as we continue to build top rate graduate programs and research activities across the University,” Davis said. “This commitment by President Underwood will serve as a springboard for us to continue growth in two areas that are becoming more integral to the life of the University.”
Davis joined the Mercer faculty as assistant professor of chemistry in 1991. He was promoted to associate professor in 1996 and served as chair of the department from 2000-2002, when he was named associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He served as associate executive vice president from 2003-2006. Davis currently holds the rank of professor of chemistry.
A native of South Carolina, Davis holds a B.S. from Erskine College and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Davis completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Davis is a member of the American Chemical Society-Organic Division; Pi Alpha Chemical Fraternity; Council on Undergraduate Research-Chemistry Division; Georgia Academy of Science; the American Chemical Society-Division of Chemical Education; the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences; and the American Conference of Academic Deans. He also is a member of Phi Kappa Phi; Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society; and Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society.
Davis and his wife, Cathy, a Mercer graduate, have three children, Ryan, Miller Ann, and Layne.