Patrick Davis, Director of Distance Education at Jackson State, will take the helm as the dean of academic support at the college on February 1. After a lengthy interview process with 10 candidates chosen from a pool of more than 70 applicants for the position, the experience that Davis brought to the table made him the best candidate to lead this very important role on campus.
Davis has been with Jackson State for 9 years and has served as director of distance education for the duration. He holds an associate of science in communication from JSCC and a bachelor of arts from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a major in communication (A/V Production) and a minor in political science. Davis has continued with graduate studies and earned an MBA in technology management and an MAEd with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. He is currently enrolled at East Tennessee State University School of Graduate Studies in the educational leadership and policy analysis doctoral program (postsecondary and private sector leadership concentration) with an anticipated completion date of Fall 2017.
When asked how he envisions his leadership in academic support for the college, Patrick states, “First and foremost, we will listen and be attentive, accountable to the needs of our students and faculty. We need to develop strategies within the Academic Support Divisions which support ATD [Achieving the Dream], Access to Success, Reconnect, and Drive to 55 for our students to meet their personal goals and become successful, productive citizens.”
According to Dr. Larry Bailey, vice president of academic affairs, the choice of Davis for the leadership role in academic support makes sense on multiple levels. “Patrick has worked closely with the academic support services since the departure of his predecessor [Mary Jane Bassett] last June,” states Bailey. “He is well-respected by all of the deans in the college and has an excellent working relationship with the departments that will be under his leadership as the new dean.”
Also seen as an important component in Davis’ selection is the unique perspective he brings to the position. Upon entering Jackson State as a student in 1990, Davis began his academic career, as do so many students, in need of remediation. Through the support and mentorship of faculty and staff at the college, he received what he refers to as a “wake-up call.” “I am excited, yet humbled, to be given this opportunity,” said Davis. He sees the journey of where he’s been and where he is as one of hard work and perseverance. He hopes that he will be able to encourage and inspire students and serve as an example of what is possible.
As the college enters a new era of academic support with Achieving the Dream and the education initiatives of the Governor’s Drive to 55, Davis’ perspective is seen as being an invaluable asset to better serve the students and helping them along on a pathway of success. Davis wholeheartedly accepts and welcomes the challenges of college’s efforts.