Davila Elected Board Chair at NYS School For The Deaf
Dec. 20, 2001
by Karen E. Black
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Robert R. Davila, Ph.D., widely known for his leadership in education of deaf people, has been elected chairman of the NewYork School for the Deaf's Board of Directors.
Davila, CEO for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, served as headmaster of the 180-year-old school from 1993-1996.
"Robert Davila is the most brilliant deaf man in the country, and was the board's unanimous choice," said Donald M. Barr, president of the school's board, and president and CEO of Barr & Barr Builders, Inc. "He comes to the board at the beginning of a new era for the school. We've just completed a modernization program and we're looking for a new headmaster. We're confident that Bob is the right person to lead us into the new century."
From 1989-1993, Davila served under President Bush's leadership as the assistant secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is the first and only deaf person to hold this post. He served as a tenured full professor of education in the graduate school of education at Gallaudet University while simultaneously serving as Vice President for PreCollege Programs there. Davila was elected president of the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf, becoming the first deaf president in the history of the organization. Subsequently, he was elected president of the Conference of Educational Administrators Serving the Deaf and the Council on Education of the Deaf, which is a consortium of the leading professional education organizations serving deaf people.
Now serving as the first deaf CEO of NTID, Davila oversees the daily operations of NTID and the academics of 1,100 deaf students on the RIT campus. He successfully led NTID's first private fund raising campaign, securing $11.5 million to bolster scholarship funds and enhance technology, research efforts, and support programs.
He also secured funding through the George Soros Foundation and the Nippon Foundation to help other countries develop better education programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Dr. Davila earned his B.A. in Education at Gallaudet University, an M.S. in Special Education at Hunter College, and a doctorate in Educational Technology from Syracuse University. He has also received honorary doctorates from RIT, Stonehill College in Massachusetts, Hunter College in New York, and Gallaudet University. He was elected to the Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities in 1997 and to the Hunter College Alumni Hall of Fame in 1991.
The first and largest technological college in the world for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, NTID, one of eight colleges of RIT, offers educational programs and access and support services to 1,100 students from around the world who study, live, and socialize with 13,500 hearing students on the RIT campus. Web address: www.rit.edu/NTID.