May 26, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

About Davenport University

From The President

Welcome to Davenport University!

Davenport University has a bold vision to provide you with a high quality education that will help you exceed employer expectations in the career of your choice. We listen to employers and CEOs of major companies who tell us what they need and then meet those needs with our career-focused curriculum. This catalog is designed to help you set a successful course toward your personal and educational goals.

Each student who enters Davenport University, whether at one of our campuses or online, receives a high level of individual attention. We are dedicated to providing a supportive learning environment with rich traditions of excellence that will transform you and help you fulfill your potential as a professional.

People who hold degrees are the future of our knowledge-driven economy, and we are excited that you have chosen Davenport to help you launch a successful career.

Please refer to the catalog and save this copy for future reference. And once again, welcome to Davenport, where we are dedicated to seeing you succeed.


Richard Pappas, Ed.D.

Our Mission

Davenport University prepares and transforms students to achieve the highest level of academic performance, leading them to excel and advance in their chosen fields in the 21st Century.

Our Vision

Davenport aspires to be renowned as a quality institution of higher education that understands the market better than any other institution. We strive to apply that understanding to our programs and teaching, preparing Davenport and its graduates to exceed employer expectations, transform communities, and change lives by believing that every person can achieve their dream.

Our Values

Davenport University’s Values represent the behavioral expectations of our faculty, staff, and students in performing their responsibilities and achieving their goals. These values form the acronym “STAIR” and include the following:

  • Serving Students with Quality
  • Trustworthiness
  • Accountability
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Respect and Inclusion


Building Upon A Rich Legacy

Davenport University debuted in Grand Rapids in 1866, just 16 years after the city was incorporated. Following many decades of growth and transformation, Davenport has become a leading institution of higher education with campuses across the state of Michigan helping students achieve their career goals in business, technology, health and urban education.

Founded as Grand Rapids Business College by Conrad G. Swensburg, a Union Army veteran fresh out of service following the Civil War, the college held its first classes on Jan. 25, 1866, with 16 students registered for courses in bookkeeping, penmanship, business law and arithmetic - the standard office skills of the day.

M.E. Davenport Era
After operating under various names and in several locations in downtown Grand Rapids, the institution was on the brink of closing its doors in 1910 when a new teacher, Michael E. Davenport, saved the day. Rallying the remaining staff, he kept the doors open and assumed control of the school that would soon bear his name. Under Davenport’s leadership, the school expanded statewide over the next several decades and became a non-profit institution in 1954. The reputation of the school grew within the community as its graduates assumed positions of leadership in business. M.E. Davenport faithfully served the institution as president until his passing in 1959, leaving a solid legacy on which his successor could build.

Statewide Growth
Robert W. Sneden succeeded M.E. Davenport as president. Sneden attended Davenport-McLachlan Institute (now Davenport University) from 1937 to 1940. While serving in the army during World War II he was married to Davenport’s daughter Margaret. After the war he began his professional career at Davenport in a variety of roles. He served with distinction as president from 1959 until his retirement in 1977, adding campuses statewide, expanding academic programming for students, and achieving accreditation through North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Degree Expansion
When the reins of presidential leadership passed to Donald W. Maine in 1977, Davenport continued to build on the rich traditions and legacy of its past to prepare students to become the business and community leaders of tomorrow. Under Maine’s leadership, Davenport developed from a college offering only associate degree programs to a fullyaccredited university providing undergraduate, graduate and online degrees. Maine served as president and chancellor from 1977 to 2000, introducing bachelor’s programs in the 1980s and master’s programs in the 1990s.

Creation of Davenport University
Under the leadership of Randolph Flechsig, president from 2000 to 2009, Davenport’s three separate, regional colleges - Davenport College, Detroit College of Business and Great Lakes College - were unified into one Davenport University. Flechsig led development of the W.A. Lettinga Campus south of Grand Rapids, which is Davenport’s only residential campus and serves as home base for the University’s administration. Flechsig also reintroduced Davenport’s athletics program, which began competition in NCAA Division II as a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in 2017.

New Vision for Davenport
Under the leadership of President Richard J. Pappas, Ed.D., Davenport University has undergone a quality transformation by aligning the organization around a strategic Vision which serves as a guidepost for the university’s future. As a result, the university has set high standards for student achievement and satisfaction. Over the past decade student success continued to improve and graduation rates have more than doubled. In fact, student and graduate satisfaction have reached their highest levels in the University’s history.
Over the last decade, the university has achieved several key milestones including:

  • Opening a new campus in Lansing and opening the Peter C. Cook Center for graduate studies in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • Creating Michigan’s first College of Urban Education with the launch of a Master of Urban Education program in 2015.
  • Introducing new academic programs, including master’s degrees in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Technology Management and Health Informatics and Information Management.
  • Launching the first Employment Guarantee In the nation, which applies to bachelor degree programs for Accounting, Nursing, Computer Information Systems, Cyber Defense and Network Management and Security.
  • Opening the Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex to accommodate the university’s NCAA Division II programs, featuring a total of 21 NCAA-sponsored men’s and women’s teams. Its competitive schedule includes the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
  • Introducing new partnerships, providing access to Davenport classrooms at University Centers located within Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Macomb Community College, Mott Community College, Northwestern Michigan College, Schoolcraft College, and Wayne County Community College District.
  • Creating a new campus within the booming midtown area of Detroit opened in 2019, and Davenport’s online Global Campus continues to roll out cutting-edge improvements.
  • Earning recognition as a 2020 Michigan Performance Excellence Award recipient by Michigan Performance Excellence (MIPEx). This is the highest honor given to organizations in Michigan that demonstrate outstanding performance, leadership and operational excellence. Davenport is the first university to earn this distinction in Michigan.
  • Being honored with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award eight times from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversityfocused publication in higher education. The magazine also recognized Davenport president Dr. Richard Pappas with the Giving Back Award in 2016.

Davenport’s newest Vision 2025, announced in 2021, calls for accelerated student outcomes and even higher levels of quality in all university operations while keeping tuition among the lowest of all private, non-profit institutions in Michigan. With a focus on preparing students to succeed in growth careers of the 21st century, Davenport eagerly embraces a future of growth and new opportunities while also understanding and honoring the rich legacy of its storied past.

Organization and Structure

Davenport University is organized and authorized to grant degrees under the educational laws of the State of Michigan. Control is vested in the governing Board of Trustees, which establishes overall institutional policies. A commitment to practical education is at the core of today’s Davenport University. The proof of our success as a university is twofold: graduates who prosper in their careers and employers who seek out our graduates because they know they will excel.

Non-Profit Status

Davenport University is chartered by the State of Michigan as a non-profit educational corporation. It has been declared tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Treasury Department.

Accreditations and Approvals

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604; 800-621-7440. The HLC is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Davenport University, an independent, nonprofit institution, is chartered by the State of Michigan and is empowered to grant degrees; it is also certified by the State Approval Agency of the Department of Education.

Davenport University is recognized for veterans’ training under the G.I. Bill for Veterans Educational Assistance.

The University is approved by the United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service as an institution of higher education for training foreign students.

The University is approved by agencies of the state and federal governments for many programs including Rehabilitation Work Incentive, etc.

Davenport University has been approved by the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

The Donald W. Maine College of Business of Davenport University has received specialized accreditation for its Associate of Business Administration, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and Masters of Business Administration, Master of Management degree programs for its business and accounting programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kansas. It has also received special accreditation for its accounting program from the IACBE.

Davenport University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE/CDE). The CAE-Cyber Defense program is jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Davenport University has been designated as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center Academic Cyber Curriculum Alliance (DACCA).

A bachelor’s degree earned at Davenport University with a major in accounting is fully recognized by the Michigan State Board of Accountancy.

A bachelor’s degree in Finance with a Financial Planning Specialty earned at Davenport University is fully recognized by the CFP™ (Certified Financial Planning) Standards Board.

The BBA in Human Resource Management and the MBA with a Human Resource Management concentration are aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) standards. SHRM, 1800 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

The HIM baccalaureate degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Contact information: CAHIIM, 233 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60601; 312-233-1183.

The HIM bachelor degree level program with specialty in Cancer Tumor Registry and all education programs in Cancer Registry Management at Davenport University are accreditated by the National Cancer Registrars Association, 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 520, Alexandria, VA 22314. Students who complete the requirements of the programs are eligible to sit for the Oncology Data Specialist (ODS) -(formerly the CTR exam) exam offered by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA).

The HIM associate degree level program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Contact information: CAHIIM, 233 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60601; 312-233-1183.

The Bachelor of Science program in Health Services Administration is certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), 2000 14th Street North, Suite 780, Arlington, VA 22201.

The Pre-Licensure Nursing program is approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing for BSN classes at the W.A. Lettinga, Lansing, Great Lakes Bay and Warren campuses. The Diploma in Practical Nursing at the Warren campus is also approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing.

The Diploma in Practical Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Contact information: ACEN Inc., 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326; 404-975-5000.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Davenport University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001; 202-887-6791.

The Legal Studies Program, which offers an Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at the W.A. Lettinga campus in Grand Rapids, MI has been continuously approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1994.

Accreditation credentials are available for review from University officials upon request.

Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

Davenport University provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants and students without unlawful discrimination based on age, color, disability, height, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status and weight in accordance with applicable laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment and educational services.

In addition, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to qualified persons who have protected disabilities that are unrelated to their ability to do the job to the extent that the University receives a timely request of the need for accommodation in accordance with the University ADA policy.

All employees and students are expected to comply with both the letter and spirit of this policy. Employees and students who believe that they may be subject to unlawful discrimination in employment or educational services are encouraged to address their concerns in accordance with the University Anti Harassment policy.

Leadership Team

Richard J. Pappas, Ed.D.
Ed.D. University of Michigan
M.A. University of Michigan
B.B.E. Eastern Michigan University

Anthony Anderson
Executive Vice President and CFO
M.B.A. University of Houston - Victoria
B.S. Canisius College

Deb Cooper
Executive Vice President for Marketing and Communications
M.M. Davenport University
B.B.A. Grand Valley State University

Scott Epstein, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President for Quality and Effectiveness
Ed.D. Nova Southeastern University
M.E. Loyola College
B.S. Northeastern University

Gilda G. Gely, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academics and Provost
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.A. Middlebury College
B.A. Kansas State University

Walter J.H. O’Neill, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services
Ed.D. Roosevelt University
M.A. Roosevelt University
B.S. State University of New York at Binghamton

Rachel Render
Executive Vice President of Alumni and Development
B.B.A. Central Michigan University

Board of Trustees

Davenport University Board of Trustees includes leaders across key industries and non-profit organizations throughout the University’s market area.  In addition to all Trustee functions, the Board provides key insights as to current needs of employers and future trends that impact Davenport’s curriculum and processes. 

Current Davenport University Trustees

Davenport University Foundation Board of Trustees

The Davenport University Foundation was established in 1982 for the purpose of securing financial support to build the university endowment, provide student scholarships and support programs and capital projects. The Davenport Foundation oversees fundraising initiatives and provides stewardship for gifts and investments. The Foundation is led by a volunteer board made up of business and community leaders. 

As a private, non-profit institution, Davenport receives no direct support from the state or federal government. The DU Foundation exists only through donations from alumni, companies, foundations, and friends of the University. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law and no administrative costs are deducted from gifts to cover administrative expenses. This means that 100% of your contribution goes to support student scholarships, programs, capital projects, or building the endowment.

Current Davenport University Foundation Board of Trustees