Alana R. Davis ’01, associate dean of academic operations and registrar at Randolph-Macon College, will become William & Mary’s next associate provost and university registrar, Provost Peggy Agouris announced today.
Davis returns to her alma mater with a wealth of expertise in academic operations, including policy development and enforcement, external compliance and effective stewardship of financial resources. She brings experience in all registrar responsibilities, from registration and records management to transfer credit evaluation and degree certification.
“It is unusual to find a candidate who offers more than 20 years of experience, a strong service record and a deep familiarity with William & Mary’s culture,” said Provost Peggy Agouris, “yet we’ve found all three in Ms. Davis. William & Mary counts itself fortunate. I look forward to working with her.”
Davis’ relationship with William & Mary dates back to her days participating in infant swim classes at Blow Hall’s gymnasium and taking summer enrichment courses at the School of Education during her childhood living in Newport News, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree from the university and is on track to complete her doctorate work at W&M in educational policy, planning and leadership in 2023.
“It feels like returning home for me on a wide range of levels,” said Davis, whose mother, Barbara Sadler, worked in graduate career services at the Mason School of Business. “From childhood onward, it’s been an institution I have been closely connected to and have a great admiration and respect for. I love William & Mary’s mission, its vision for the future and what it brings to the world of education.”
As university registrar, Davis will support the primary educational mission of William & Mary and help advance institutional objectives, including those identified in the Vision 2026 strategic plan. The Office of the University Registrar offers assistance and service to students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents and all other members of the William & Mary community.
Essential responsibilities of the office are to maintain accurate records, to allow access to student records in compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and to support the academic program of the university by gathering, maintaining and distributing information.
The office publishes exam schedules, academic calendars and the undergraduate catalog.
As associate provost, Davis will also work with the office of institutional accreditation and effectiveness, the work of which includes managing the university’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) approval and reporting responsibilities, institutional change coordination and state authorization reciprocity for distance learning.
“The university registrar/associate provost’s work touches virtually every campus constituency – students, staff, faculty, leadership and alumni,” said W&M Professor and Charles Center Director Elizabeth Harbron, who chaired the position’s search committee. “Alana Davis impressed the search committee with her ability to work across all of these groups. She is an energetic, inspiring leader who moves seamlessly from micro level details to macro level strategic thinking.”
Davis will take on her new position July 25. She succeeds Sallie Marchello, who will retire from her role as William & Mary’s associate provost and university registrar on Sept. 1. Marchello has served at the university since 2005.
“The way Sallie has shepherded many student processes over the years is extraordinary,” Agouris said. “She has applied a level of care and professionalism in her roles that in many ways reflects the university’s highest principles and characterizes the kindness that is the earmark of ‘the William & Mary Way.’ We send her off to her duly earned retirement this fall knowing that we will miss her very much, even as we celebrate Ms. Davis joining us. I’m glad that these two excellent administrators will have a few weeks together before September.”
Davis and Marchello have known each other over the years through their professional associations and became valued colleagues through their recent leadership activity. Specifically, the pair each held committee chair positions on the 2020 local arrangements committee for the Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (SACRAO), which Davis currently serves as Secretary and Marchello previously served through various executive committee posts including the presidential cycle.
Davis also chairs a committee for American ACRAO, which Marchello highlighted during candidate review for her successor.
“Alana will be a wonderful addition to William & Mary, and I cannot imagine handing the baton of my beloved work to a more qualified leader and caring person,” Marchello said. “She knows the work of academic administration both as a practitioner and as a student of the field, and her service to the profession at the state, regional and national level will serve William & Mary extremely well.”
Marchello went on to express her deep gratitude to William & Mary for an extraordinary 18 years at the capstone of her 36-year career in Virginia public higher education. She noted that she has appreciated “the opportunities to lead continuous improvement initiatives in service, policy and procedure; to build increasingly strong operations with exceptional teams; and to develop lasting relationships through collaborations with cherished colleagues on William & Mary’s staff, faculty and administration.”
Davis assumed duties as registrar at Randolph-Macon in 2008 and added the role of associate dean of operations in 2022.
At RMC, Davis oversaw and performed all duties of the registrar, including transcript services, enrollment verifications, course registration, grade reporting and recording, transfer credit evaluation, maintenance of student records, academic calendar development and maintenance and catalog review.
“Ms. Davis brings to William & Mary more than two decades of experience and expertise in academic administration,” said David Yalof, W&M vice provost for academic affairs, to whom the position reports. “In addition to overseeing and managing the university registrar’s office, she will provide critical leadership to the university in its efforts to provide a transformative educational experience for our students and maintain sound relationships with external accreditors and agencies. We are truly excited that Alana Davis will be joining our team.”
Davis has served on various campus committees, including the curriculum committee and the academic policy and exceptions committee.
“Trusted by faculty, staff and students for her critical judgment and her breadth and depth of institutional knowledge, Alana’s leadership in the registrar’s office and across academic affairs has been outstanding,” said Alisa J. Rosenthal, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Randolph-Macon. “We celebrate her impact as she continues on her career journey to her alma mater.”
Davis said her years at Randolph-Macon emphasized to her the importance of building relationships and creating connections between offices, departments and divisions. Listening to students, faculty and staff and understanding their different viewpoints is critical, she says.
“I’ve had a wonderful experience being at the same institution for most of my career,” Davis said. “I’m excited to bring what I’ve learned in that environment and apply it in a different setting as well as to learn and grow and be part of the kind of educational experience provided at William & Mary.”
Nathan Warters, Communications Specialist