“First and foremost, learning is fun, and that must be communicated to students through my approach.” That is the answer you will get if you ask Dan Davidson about his teaching philosophy.
But beyond the fun, Davidson continues, is the push to thrive and the high expectations he has of each student. “I want to challenge the students to succeed, to expect success, to demand effort. I want my students to learn to think, to develop communication skills, and to learn to go beyond first impressions. My students are encouraged to use the IDES model: they must identify issues, develop an answer, explain the answer with supporting materials and reasoning.”
A professor of business law and chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance & Business Law at Radford University’s College of Business and Economics (COBE), Davidson has been an educator for more than three decades, having taught at Central Connecticut State College (where he met his wife), St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, the University of Arkansas, and California State University-Fresno. Finally, in 1986, the Davidsons returned to the east coast to be closer to family. As Davidson so succinctly describes it, “Radford had a position, I applied, RU offered, and I have been here ever since.”
For 22 years, Davidson has seen many students walk in and out of his classroom at RU, but it is obvious that they have never been a nameless face in the crowd. “I love the classroom and the time I spend with my students. I can’t imagine doing anything else that brings me as much pleasure, so I am in this for the long run.”
Davidson is equally devoted to the future of COBE and its programs (“I want to help this college become recognized as one of the finest business programs in the state and region”), as well as to his family. Reflecting on his time so far at RU, he says he has grown to appreciate even more his wife and family, and he has a very concise story of personal success. “My main accomplishment is, and will continue to be, to remain happy with the choices I have made. My wife, my family, my career all bring me enjoyment, and I want to retain and maintain that."