09:49 PM

Janine Davidson named next president of MSU Denver


Davidson will succeed outgoing president Stephen M. Jordan in July 2017.

Board of Trustees Chair Michelle Lucero announced today that Janine Davidson, Ph.D., will be the next president of Metropolitan State University of Denver.

“Among the dozens of candidates who applied for this position, Dr. Davidson’s name kept rising to the top,” said Lucero. “In interviews with the selection committee and campus stakeholder groups, she was described as ‘strategic,’ ‘dynamic,’ ‘collaborative,’ ‘high energy’ and ‘entrepreneurial,’ and those are just a few of the positive things said about her. Our board members believe she will raise the profile of the institution both internally and externally.”

Davidson will succeed Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D., who has served as president of the institution for 12 years, and grew a small local college into a nationally recognized university. In September 2016, Jordan announced he would retire effective June 30, 2017.

Davidson plans to build on Jordan’s legacy and will bring her considerable experience leading large and complex organizations to bear on that task.

“I was attracted to MSU Denver because of the progressive, entrepreneurial leadership Dr. Jordan and the board have displayed,” she said. “As president, I will be 100 percent committed to the vision that defines the University – accessibility, affordability and diversity.”

All told, Davidson has nearly 30 years of experience in military operations, national security policy and academic research. Most recently, she served as the 32nd undersecretary of the United States Navy, where she managed all Department of the Navy affairs. Her duties included Navy and Marine Corps integration, acquisition, finance, personnel, legislative affairs, research and development.

Davidson was on the Auraria Campus to meet with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members yesterday and today. In several open forums, she enthusiastically discussed her motivation to take on this role and answered questions from the community.

“This is a place where the American dream still lives,” said Davidson. “College is so expensive and the dream is slipping away for so many people. But not here. MSU Denver is holding the line. And that’s one of the reasons I’m so incredibly honored to be here.”

The president-elect is also well versed in the academic arena. She was a senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she is a lifetime member. She has taught national security policy and political science at Davidson College, Georgetown University and George Mason University.

Davidson holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Squadron Officer School and was the first woman to fly the Air Force’s tactical C-130.

Davidson will start in July 2017 with a salary of $300,000.