Dr. Miles K. Davis to Be First African-American President of Linfield College

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As of January 31st, 2018, the Linfield College Board of Trustees announced that Dr. Miles K. Davis will become the college’s 20th president and the first African-American president in the institution’s 160-year history.

“From the moment I engaged with Linfield and the community, it has been a growing love affair,” Davis said in a recent press release. “From the Board of Trustees to the faculty, staff, coaches, and administrators, Linfield College is an impressive group of people. It is Linfield’s students, though, who really stole my heart with their inquisitive and thoughtful questions. I am excited about becoming a part of this community of learners and scholars.”

David C. Baca ’78, chair of the Board of Trustees and a partner at the Davis Wright Tremaine law firm, said Davis brings an entrepreneur’s sensibility to Linfield at a time of transformation in higher education.

Davis currently serves as Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business in Winchester, Va.

Davis received his Ph.D. in human and organizational sciences from The George Washington University, an M.A. in human resource development from Bowie State University and a B.A. in communications from Duquesne University. At Shenandoah since 2001, he served as both the inaugural chair of the management science department and the founding director at the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business and Institute for Entrepreneurship. In 2012, he was honored as the dean of the school.

Davis is an authority on entrepreneurship whose most recent work focuses on integrity, values, and principles in the business world, as well as faith-based entrepreneurship. He utilizes his expertise in HR development and organizational sciences to help organizations manage cultural and structural changes, leadership development, and strategic growth initiatives.

Davis is the first college president to come out of The Ph.D. Project, a network that helps members of underrepresented communities attain doctorates and become leaders in higher education.

Regarding his new appointment, Davis feels “honored” to lead a world-class college like Linfield. Davis will begin his new appointment July 1. He succeeds Dr. Thomas L. Hellie, who is retiring after 12 years as Linfield’s president.


Linfield College is a nationally renowned, comprehensive four-year college with its main campus located an hour outside of Portland, in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. It also maintains a School of Nursing in Portland, and online degree and certificate programs. The college’s curriculum is rooted in traditional liberal arts and includes practical education through collaborative, service and experiential learning opportunities.