Vice Provost Sharon Davies to depart the university for Spelman College

Date: February 14, 2017
To: University Community
From: Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost
Re: Leadership Transition

Sharon Davies

Sharon Davies

I write to share the news that Vice Provost Sharon L. Davies has advised me that she has accepted the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, effective June 1, 2017. She will continue in her current roles of vice provost for diversity and inclusion, the university’s chief diversity officer, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity, and The Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Moritz College of Law until April 28, 2017.

Inclusive excellence is at the core of who we are as a university. We will continue to build on the outstanding contributions that Sharon has helped bring to our institution, and the university will work in the coming weeks to identify a new leader. We will work closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to ensure a smooth transition and look forward to sharing more as the process unfolds.

Vice Provost Davies joined Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law faculty in 1995, and her scholarship and teaching have focused on civil rights, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and race and law. As executive director of the Kirwan Institute, she grew the implicit bias unit into a national standout; aided the city of Columbus and Franklin County with research on infant-mortality hotspots, the needs of senior citizens, and the well-being of children of color in our community. She also produced two outstanding documentary films, “Reading from the Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “Free to Ride,” which was recently invited as the number one film to the 2017 Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival. She is also nationally recognized for her thought leadership around and legal contributions to securing pathways into college for underrepresented students and promoting diversity in higher education.

In addition to her academic and national leadership roles, her many awards and honors include The American Constitution Society’s Robert M. Duncan Award and the Columbus Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award. She was also presented with the Key to the City of Birmingham, Alabama, for the contributions made by her book, Rising Road, A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion (Oxford University Press). She was also awarded a 2015 YWCA Woman of Achievement designation for her engagement in the central Ohio community.

She earned a BA in political science from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a JD from Columbia University of Law.

Please join me in thanking Sharon for her exemplary scholarship and leadership at Ohio State and in congratulating her on the wonderful opportunity of her new role at Spelman College.