C of I hires David Douglass as new academic dean, VP

The College of Idaho has added a creative mind and experienced leader to its administrative team, hiring Dr. David Douglass to serve as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Douglass will finish out the academic year at Willamette University, where he has served as an academic and student affairs dean, before joining the C of I this summer.

“For me, there was no more attractive place than the C of I,” Douglass said. “This is a community aligned for success, and I’m drawn to the vitality and energy of the faculty, students and staff. I also view it as a place where leadership matters, and I feel there is a real opportunity for me to make a difference.”

Douglass has enjoyed a long and successful career at Willamette, where he was hired in 1997 as a professor in the Department of Civic Communication & Media Studies. He advanced to become Associate Dean and then Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts before being promoted to his most recent role as Willamette’s chief student affairs officer in 2010.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Douglass join The College of Idaho team,” said C of I President Charlotte Borst. “David brings a great mix of leadership, creative vision, liberal arts experience and familiarity with the Pacific Northwest to our campus. I look forward to his stewardship and cultivation of the outstanding faculty and academic excellence for which the C of I is known.”

Douglass completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech communication from California State University, Fresno, and earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University. In more than two decades as a professor and administrator at Willamette, Douglass oversaw dozens of programs and initiatives relating to both academic and student affairs. Under his leadership, Willamette’s Career Center developed a series of award-winning programs on career planning and exploration, and his department also became a national leader in overseeing and investigating Title IX issues.

At the C of I, Douglass will lead an award-winning faculty that has won four Carnegie Foundation Idaho Professor of the Year awards over the past decade. He will serve as the College’s chief academic officer, reporting directly to President Borst.

“I have many ideas about how to support the academic mission at C of I, of course, but first I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the campus,” Douglass said. “I plan to learn everything I can about the College, its history and culture, in order to help shape its future.”  

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit

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