Oxford College Dean Douglas Hicks has resigned from Emory University to become the 19th president of Davidson College (N.C.), his undergraduate alma mater, according to an April 29 email to Oxford students from Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Ravi V. Bellamkonda. 

Davidson College Trustees unanimously named Hicks as the college’s next president, according to an April 29 Davidson press release. He will succeed Carol Quillen, who announced in August 2021 that she will step down after 11 years as president.

Hicks will continue to serve as Oxford dean until joining Davidson on Aug. 1. The University will name an interim dean in the coming weeks before beginning a search for a permanent replacement, Bellamkonda wrote.

Oxford College Dean Douglas Hicks has resigned to take a job as the president of Davidson College (N.C.) Photo courtesy of Emory University

In a separate April 29 email to Oxford students, Hicks wrote that it had been an honor to serve the Oxford community, reflecting on the expansion of course offerings, increase in faculty diversity and construction of new buildings during his tenure. 

Our current classes are the most accomplished in the history of the College, which is a tribute to each of you,” Hicks wrote. 

University President Gregory Fenves wrote in an April 29 press release that Hicks elevated Oxford as a distinctive liberal arts experience.

“He made Emory’s founding campus into a destination for students from across the nation and around the world,” Fenves wrote. “I am grateful for all he has done for our university and wish him the best as he moves on to lead the Davidson community.”

Oxford has seen “great physical and philanthropic expansion” since Hicks assumed his role as dean in 2016, Bellamkonda wrote. Applications to Oxford have more than doubled under Hicks’ leadership, from 8,644 in 2016 to over 20,000 in 2022. 

Similarly, Oxford’s endowment nearly doubled over the last six years, allowing for the renovation of several buildings and the addition of a new dining hall and student center, Bellamkonda noted. Additionally, in an April 29 email to the Wheel, Executive Director of Media Relations Megan McRainey said that the endowment allowed for increased financial aid. 

Hicks also “led the creation of a distinctive new general-education program,” Bellamkonda wrote, citing the inclusion of Discovery Seminars, experiential learning and Milestone Projects into the Oxford curriculum. 

Alison Hall Mauzé, chair of Davidson’s Board of Trustees, wrote in Davidson’s press release that Hicks’ time at Oxford will bring crucial experience to Davidson. 

“As the Dean of Oxford College, at Emory, he has strengthened the sense of community and propelled initiatives that are in sync with Davidson’s prioritized and collaborative work,” Mauzé wrote. “He understands where we are at now and has charted a path ahead.” 

Update (5/3/2022 at 4:01 p.m.): This article was updated to include comment from Executive Director of Media Relations Megan McRainey