Davis Center for Figure Sense


About the center

The Davis Center for Figure Sense exists to instill a stronger figure sense into the habits of thinking and communicating.

What is figure sense?

Figure sense is the effectiveness with which people select and evaluate evidence before making a decision or taking action. A person with figure sense is able to rapidly and accurately collect the right evidence (i.e., know which claim/statement to inquire about and which claim/statement to ignore), confirm the reliability of the collected evidence, apply a combination of accounting, economics, finance, mathematics and statistics when developing this evidence, and then persuasively present the results of their evaluation.

Roger and Julie Davis proposed establishing the Davis Center to then-School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi. Their interest in supporting figure sense education stems from their long-standing professional and personal interest in evidence-based decision-making (i.e., "figure sense"). Their primary motivation for establishing the center is to better prepare students for success in business and to be astute, engaged citizens.

The Davis Center for Figure Sense was created thanks to a combined outright and planned gift commitment of $7.2 million from the Davises in December 2015. Steve Hillmer, professor, serves as the director.

Roger Davis is the owner and CEO of Paxton/Patterson in Chicago, having first joined the company in 1980 as its general manager.

Paxton/Patterson became one of the first companies to provide classroom technology learning systems in 1990. Today, the company's learning systems engage students with problem-based, real-world technology concentrated on STEM education (grades 3-12), health science careers (grades 8-12), family and consumer sciences (grades 6-9), and architecture and construction (grades 8-12).

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas in 1972 and credits KU’s business faculty with making the single biggest difference in his career.

A loyal Jayhawk, Roger has been a member of the School of Business Dean’s Board of Advisors for more than 20 years, serving as board chair from 1996 through 1999. He received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.

Julie Davis is co-founder and principal at Davis & Hosfield Consulting LLC in Chicago.

After having led regional and national practices at Big Four accounting firms, Julie co-founded Davis & Hosfield along with Mark Hosfield in June 2003. The litigation-focused financial and economic consulting firm provides damages analyses and expert testimony to clients worldwide, ranging from local to international law firms, and from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.

She graduated from Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration with a degree in accounting in 1978.

Julie has been inducted into the College of Business Administration Accounting Hall of Fame and named as an Alumni Fellow by Kansas State University.