USF Names New Dean for School of Management

Elizabeth B. Davis will be the first woman to lead USF’s School of Management in its 90-year history

SAN FRANCISCO — (May 6, 2014)

Today, Elizabeth B. Davis, Ph D., was appointed dean of the University of San Francisco’s School of Management, effective Aug. 1. In her role, Davis, a former CEO and accomplished leader in higher education, will be the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer of the School of Management. She will also be a member of the university leadership team which plays a critical role in shaping USF’s academic agenda. Her appointment marks an important milestone the university’s history: Davis will be the first woman to lead the School of Management as dean.

Davis is an expert in strategic management, business policy, and organizational dynamics. After a successful career in industry, which culminated in leading a biotechnology firm in Philadelphia, she embarked on an academic career. She is currently Dean of the College of Business and Professor of Management at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Prior to New Haven, she spent 12 years at George Washington University where she served as an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, and Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute. Davis gained a deep understanding of Jesuit education during her 12 years at St. Joseph’s University School of Business in Philadelphia, where she taught and was Chair of the Management and Information Systems Department.

“As a former CEO of a biotech firm, an accomplished scholar, and successful dean, Dr. Davis will be a great asset to USF,” said USF Provost Jennifer Turpin. “She brings an abundance of knowledge and a straightforward, upbeat, and inclusive leadership style. She will lead the School of Management to the next level of excellence.”

Davis began her career in the health care industry as a researcher at Duke University Medical School, and rose to become CEO and Chief Operating Officer of the National Disease Research Interchange, a federally funded, non-profit biomedical research and technology firm in Philadelphia, with locations in San Francisco, Chicago, and Baltimore.

“I am excited to carry forward the strong tradition that USF’s School of Management has established in the heart of a city known for its innovative, entrepreneurial, and global business climate,” Davis said. “I’m eager to begin working with an exceptional faculty to deliver a challenging curriculum that prepares students to succeed in today’s marketplaces.”

Davis earned her B.A. from Columbia University and received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Social Systems Sciences, specializing in Management Systems and Strategic Organizational Theory.

The national search for USF’s new School of Management Dean began last year when Provost Turpin appointed a selection committee that included faculty and staff representatives from the School of Management, as well as members of the USF Board of Trustees, and the USF Jesuit Community. School of Nursing and Health Professions Dean Judith Karshmer chaired the committee, guided by Isaacson Miller, a highly regarded national search firm.

Davis will lead and manage the operation of the school, including recruitment of faculty and staff, curriculum development, communications, and budget management. She will oversee approximately 100 full-time faculty members, more than 94 adjunct faculty, 54 staff members, and an operating budget of nearly $26 million.

The USF School of Management began in 1924, and currently offers undergraduate and graduate programs at USF’s Hilltop and Downtown campuses in San Francisco, branch campuses in Pleasanton, Sacramento, San Jose and Santa Rosa, as well as online. For more information about the School of Management, please visit

To request interviews with Elizabeth B. Davis, please contact Anne-Marie Devine at (415) 422-2697 or

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and stunning cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit