By Jamie Vinson & Gina Vaile/editors
Rita Davis announced this week she will not return to her position as associate vice president for enrollment management. Davis, who has been serving as acting vice president for student affairs more than a year, plans to return to a faculty position when James Conneely officially takes office as Eastern’s new VP for student affairs in February.“There isn’t any greater calling than teaching,” Davis told The Progress Tuesday. “I started my career in the classroom, and I possibly may end my career in the classroom.”
As a tenured faculty member in the College of Business and Technology, Davis said she will teach in the department of management, marketing and administrative communication.
“I will be willing to teach whatever,” Davis said, noting she likes teaching report writing and introduction business and computer classes. “I love orientation classes. I’m very interested in teaching some orientation classes.”
Tuesday Davis said University President Joanne Glasser had been very supportive of her decision to return to teaching and that she is appreciative Glasser provided her the opportunity to either return to enrollment or faculty. Glasser said Davis notified her of her decision to move back to faculty Monday.
“She loved her work in the classroom as well as her work in student affairs,” Glasser said. “I am most appreciative of her service as acting VP for student affairs during this transition period.
“She too brought a wealth of university experience, commitment and leadership to the important position,” Glasser continued. “I know she will do an outstanding job in the classroom and her students will be most fortunate to have her back in that capacity.”
Davis has been an employee at Eastern since 1981 and has held numerous positions. She served as associate vice president for enrollment management from 1999-2001. Davis officially was named acting vice president for student affairs Nov. 13, 2001.
Glasser notified The Progress Wednesday morning that Aaron Thompson, who has been serving as acting associate vice president for enrollment management, will assume the associate VP position permanently. Thompson, who has been in the acting position a little more than a year, debated whether to return to a faculty position or remain in enrollment.
“I had to weigh a lot of things, it took a lot of time,” Thompson said Wednesday morning. “The decision itself wasn’t hard. I am very proud to be part of the senior administration team that will take Eastern where it needs to go.”
Glasser said Thompson’s blend of academics and administration, dedication to students and understanding of how the university works makes him qualified for the position.
“Dr. Thompson brings a wealth of skills and experiences to the position that have already begun to pay dividends for the university in enrollment, retention and student support areas,” Glasser said.
Thompson has held a number of positions at Eastern and most recently was executive director of Eastern’s Student Success Institute before moving to enrollment.