As vice president for enrollment and marketing management, he has had a strong hand in the increase of admissions applications and has implemented numerous models of efficiency systems during his 15 years at Hardin-Simmons University.
Dr. Shane Davidson has also held a high profile in the Abilene community, serving as a school board member and volunteering his time to head a wide variety of education related committees. He has served as coach, a deacon for his church, and been recognized for his creativity, leadership, passion and drive.
Davidson was named as an Abilene Reporter-News Top 20 under 40 leader in the Big Country in 1999, and named as a top community leader by the Career & Technology Association of Texas in 2011.
Last week, Davidson announced that he would be leaving HSU at the end of December to become the vice president for enrollment services at the University of Evansville in Indiana, starting his new job Jan. 2, 2013.
“The people and the friendships here have made this decision very tough,” he says. “I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights and shed a lot of tears, but the opportunity with the University of Evansville is one I could not pass up, personally or professionally.”
While at HSU, Davidson oversaw a 48% increase in admission applications, almost a 20% increase in the number of new students attending HSU who were in the top 10% of their high school graduating class, and increased the number of visitors to the campus 49% since 2003.
HSU president, Dr. Lanny Hall, says, “We are fortunate to have benefitted from his leadership, zeal and dedicated service for all these years. While we hate to say ‘goodbye’ to him, we wish him great success at the University of Evansville and in all his future endeavors.”
Davidson came to HSU in 1997 as the associate vice president for enrollment services after serving as director of student financial aid at Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, Texas.
Davidson graduated magna cum laude from Howard Payne University, earning a B.B.A. in 1992. He completed an M.B.A. in 1996 at Wayland Baptist, and an Ed.D. in 2005 at Baylor University.
Early in his career, Davidson served as the West Texas market manager for Norwest Bank’s student lending division, director of university services at Howard Payne University, Brownwood, Texas, and assistant registrar at Wayland.
HSU credits Davidson as being instrumental in initiating and implementing a content management system on the website with a fully integrated online application process. Davidson automated correspondence in admissions with element and material tracks for students in all high school classifications, and initiated the use of regional recruiting representatives in key recruiting markets across Texas.
Davidson also established early awareness programs that bring approximately 2,000 eighth graders to the Hardin-Simmons campus, and created a highly functional Welcome Center.
Looking beyond the HSU campus, Davidson helped to develop an Early College program with the Abilene Independent School District and the San Marcos Baptist Academy, and helped to expand undergraduate theological education to the South Texas School of Christian Studies in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Davidson created a partnership with Experience Life Internationally (ELI 360) to recruit international students to HSU, helped to develop an English as a Second Language program, and increased HSU’s international student population to 50 full-time students. He also helped to establish agreements in China with Yew Chung Community College and Tsinghua Elite International Hotel Management College and similar agreements with Life College in Malaysia, and St. Francis Methodist in Singapore.
In his time at HSU, Davidson held the admiration of his many peers and colleagues for his work ethic and devotion to the university. “Dr. Davidson is a tireless worker and true student of his craft who has always led with integrity, passion and humility,” said Travis Seekins, associate vice president for technology services. “His devotion to Hardin-Simmons is only exceeded by his faith in Jesus and his love for his sweet bride and two sons. HSU has been blessed by his service, and we’ll always be proud to call him friend.”
Davidson’s wife, Amy, an elementary school teacher, will finish out the school year in Abilene with youngest son, Eric, a sophomore at Cooper High School. Davidson’s older son, Hayden, will continue his studies at HSU.
Davidson’s service to HSU includes:
Administrative Council/President’s Cabinet, 2006-present
Administrative Council/President’s Cabinet Secretary, 2006-2011
Threat Assessment Committee, 2011-present
Legislative Assignment Team, 2012
Inaugural Staff Senate President, 2001-2003
Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee (Ex-Officio), 1997-present
Admissions Committee (Ex-Officio), 1997-present
Academic Appeals Committee, 2003-present
Fringe Benefits Committee, 2003-2005
Theta Alpha Zeta sponsor, 2005-2009