ICCTA Gary W. Davis Ethical Leadership Award

2005 Recipient

Dr. Gary W. Davis
Executive director
Illinois Community College Trustees Association

Dr. Gary W. Davis led the Illinois Community College Trustees Association as its executive director from September 1986 to December 2004.

During his 18 years with ICCTA, Davis was legendary for his unwavering commitment to integrity and ethical practices.

In honor of his retirement in 2004, the Trustees Association established the Gary W. Davis Ethical Leadership Award to recognized individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the pursuit and support of ethical leadership and decision-making in their fields of work and volunteer service.

Dr. Gary W. Davis (right) accepts ICCTA's inaugural Ethical Leadership Award from longtime Elgin Community College trustee John Duffy

Dr. Gary W. Davis (right) accepts ICCTA's
inaugural Ethical Leadership Award from
longtime Elgin Community College trustee
John Duffy.
Davis has worked with college and university boards since 1983 and conducts board retreats in the United States as well as abroad.

A graduate of John Carver's Policy Governance Academy, Davis wrote the American Association of Community Colleges / Association of Community Colleges Trustees'New Expeditionspaper on "Governance."

He publishes regularly in theTrustee Quarterlyand has written two chapters on trusteeship for books edited by George Vaughan.

Recognized as an accomplished small group facilitator, Davis draws on his ability to put trustees at ease and to focus them on their own processes and performances. "Down to earth," "real" and "useful" are some of the ways his retreats are often described. He does not lecture but instead uses group discussions and case studies to involve adults in an enabler rather than as a "sage on the stage." He is well-known for his use of humor and cartoons to summarize discoveries made by the groups he facilitates. "I think I make responses I pick up and the way I channel conversation," Davis says.

Davis grew up on an Iowa farm, was active in 4-H, high school athletics and music and graduated in liberal arts from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He holds the Ph. D. in Religion and Ethics from the University of Iowa and taught full-time for 11 years before working as an assistant provost for planning and budgeting at Illinois State University. He also served as Secretary to the Board of Control at Saginaw Valley College in Michigan, where he lobbied for the college.

Active as a volunteer in his church, Davis has chaired a number of voluntary boards and commissions. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE).

As a retreat facilitator, he emphasizes preparation and follow-up. In addition to his Policy Governance retreats, Davis works with boards on trustee ethics, trust building, strategic planning, board-community relations, college advocacy and board-president relations.