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Dr. Rick Pappas
March 3, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Richard J. Pappas, Ed.D., is president of Davenport University, a private, nonprofit university founded in 1866 in Grand Rapids, Mich. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 at campuses across Michigan and online, Davenport specializes in innovative undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare students for in-demand careers in business, technology, health professions, and urban education.
Under the leadership of Dr. Pappas, Davenport has implemented continuous quality improvement measures through Vision 2015, elevating the University through enhanced academic programming, student support, market position and financial strength. Davenport’s graduation rate has increased 105% during that span, while retention, persistence and student satisfaction are at all-time highs.
Davenport was named a 2013 “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education and was honored by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce with the EPIC Award for Excellence in Business, recognizing the University’s innovation and quality initiatives.
Dr. Pappas has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, including 26 years as a college and university president. Prior to joining Davenport in 2009, he served as president of National-Louis University (NLU) in Chicago, Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Mich., and Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md. Among honors and achievements, Dr. Pappas received the University of Michigan’s Norman C. Harris Alumni Award and the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations’ Pacesetter Award.
He is Chairman of the board for The Heart of West Michigan United Way and also serves on the boards of The Economic Club of Grand Rapids and The Right Place, Inc. Dr. Pappas is a participant in the West Michigan Strategic Alliance’s Talent 2025 initiative and a member of the CEO Advisory Council for the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. He also is a member of the West Michigan Board of Directors for Fifth Third Bank.
Dr. Pappas also serves as Chair of the membership committee and on the executive committee of the board for the American Council on Education, and he is on the executive committee and board of the Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU).
A native of Michigan, Dr. Pappas earned his doctorate degree in higher, adult and continuing education and master’s degree in higher education and business management from the University of Michigan. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Pappas is married to Pam, who is a school social worker, and has three grown children — Brian, Lisa and Dana – and three grandsons, Charlie, Kaden and Ben