USF Announces New Dean for College of Arts & Sciences

Jan. 7, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

The University of St. Francis (USF) congratulates Elizabeth W. Davies, Ph. D., on her appointment as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) effective Jan. 1, 2018. The announcement was made to the university community by Provost Frank Pascoe, D.A.

“The university community is very excited to welcome Dr. Davies into the position as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences permanently,” said Pascoe. “Her student centered approach, humble demeanor and academic training make her an ideal candidate for this position.”

Davies joined the university as an assistant professor of psychology in 2008. She received tenure in 2011 and has been acting as the interim dean for the college since July 2017. Davies earned both her master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology, human development and mental health research from the University of Chicago.

“As dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, I hope to help the college become more cohesive so we can better prepare students to go out and carry forth the Franciscan values of respect, service, integrity, and compassion,” commented Davies. “I am also really looking forward to giving back to the university. If I can be of service to the students, faculty, staff and other administrators, I will feel like I have I have accomplished what I set out to do.”

Davies has been an instructor since 1995 and has taught courses in abnormal psychology, personality psychology, psychology of women, history and systems of psychology and learning and cognition. She was instrumental in the creation of the new substance abuse counseling major at USF; the only one of its kind in the area.

“As a liberal arts institution, USF strives to educate students in the skills that employers seek and that enrich students’ sense of purpose in life; the capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, cooperate with others fairly and live lives of purpose and service,” Davies said. “Those skills are as valuable on the job as they are in one’s personal life, and they all have roots in the arts and sciences disciplines. Each of the programs within the College of Arts & Sciences contributes to helping our students embody the ‘Bigger Thinking and Brighter Purpose’ that defines an education at USF. That interconnected web of academic disciplines is our greatest strength,” says Davies.

Outside of the classroom, Davies has also represented her fellow academics and CAS on several committees, including the Teaching and Professional Growth Committee, Educational Standards Committee and Executive Council. In 2013, Davies received the Notable and Outstanding Award by the Academic Resource Center at USF for her outstanding commitment to students.

Davies was recently named as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission where, as part of a team, she is entrusted to review the systems portfolios of colleges and universities seeking to renew their accreditation. In addition, Davies also serves as a member of the River Forest Township Mental Health Committee, where she assists in conducting program evaluations and assesses the needs for mental health prevention and treatment for the community.

“The faculty and students of the College of Arts & Sciences look forward to new growth under Davies’ leadership,” remarked Pascoe.

The College of Arts and Sciences currently offers master’s programming in social work, and bachelor’s degrees in a variety of areas including art and design, natural sciences, communication and media arts, English, music, recreation, sport management and more.

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are more than 48,000 USF alumni across the globe.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.