Van Davis is Associate Vice President of Higher Education Research and Policy at Blackboard Inc. where he is a part of Blackboard’s new Strategic Partnerships and Thought Leadership team. Davis works extensively on distance education and learning technology issues as well as policy issues such as competency based education, workforce alignment, and college affordability. Before joining Blackboard in January 2015, Davis was Director of Innovations in Higher Education at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). He most recently led the THECB’s efforts in responding to Governor Rick Perry's calls for a $10,000 bachelor's degree by directing the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Project funded through an EDUCAUSE Next Generation Learning Challenges grant, which resulted in the creation of the state’s first competency based education baccalaureate degree at South Texas College and Texas A&M Commerce. Additionally, Davis directed the state's adult degree completion project, Grad TX (http://www.gradtx.org) as well as the state’s course redesign grant program, online faculty professional development program, annual Reinventing Instruction and Learning Conference, and the development of the state's digital learning objects repository. Davis speaks extensively around the nation on competency based education and adult degree completion and is co-author of two forthcoming studies: Leveraging Shared Savings to Promote High-Quality, Cost-Effective Higher Education and Competency-Based Education Programs in Texas: An Innovative Approach to Higher Education. For 10 years before joining the staff of the THECB in 2007, Davis worked at both public and private institutions of higher education where he served as a history professor and an academic administrator. Davis holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History with an emphasis in civil rights history from Vanderbilt University as well as a B.A. in History from Southwestern University.