Interim Provost Appointed

September 2, 2008

Dr. Elizabeth Davis, BBA '84, was named interim provost in late July. Davis follows Dr. Randall O'Brien, who earlier in the month was named the 22nd president of Carson-Newman, a small Baptist college in Jefferson City, Tenn.

Davis, who has served the provost's office as vice provost for financial and academic administration since 2004, assumed the duties of Baylor's chief academic officer.

"While in the process of discussing this interim appointment, Elizabeth Davis was the consensus choice to provide leadership in our academic area during this period of transition," said then-acting Baylor president Harold R. Cunningham. "She is a very talented academician and administrator who will keep us moving on our upward trajectory."

As interim provost, Davis has responsibility for all of Baylor's academic enterprises, including 11 schools and colleges and more than two dozen centers and institutes.

"I am honored by this appointment and humbled that colleagues in the Baylor family believe that I can be of service to Baylor as interim provost during this important time," Davis said. "Randall O'Brien has built an adept team in the provost's office, and we are well prepared to provide continued leadership in the academic areas of the university."

Davis earned her bachelor of business administration degree in accounting cum laude from Baylor in 1984, and joined the Baylor faculty in 1992 after completing her doctorate in accounting at Duke University. She is also a professor of accounting in the Hankamer School of Business. 

O'Brien leaves Baylor after 17 years as a faculty member and administrator, including the past three years in which he served as executive vice president and provost.

A popular choice of students, O'Brien's academic courses were often filled to capacity, and he has been honored by Baylor students with numerous teaching awards. He also has been active as a scholar, publishing four books and more than 70 scholarly articles, and as a preacher at churches and conferences across the world.

"Baylor University has been good to us," O'Brien said. "For 17 wonderful years Baylor has been home. Our children have grown up here. We have loved Baylor, and Baylor has loved us. We have been a part of each other, family you might say, and in a very real sense we always will be."