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 ability to select and evaluate evidence effectively before making decisions or taking actions. Individuals with strong figure sense can quickly and accurately identify relevant evidence and verify its credibility. They skillfully apply principles from accounting, economics, finance, mathematics, and statistics to analyze this evidence. Additionally, they can effectively disregard irrelevant information and convincingly present their findings and conclusions.

The Davis Center for Figure Sense was created in 2015 by a generous donation of $7.2 million from Roger and Julie Davis, consisting of both immediate and planned gifts. Their advocacy for education in figure sense reflects their profound professional and personal commitment to evidence-based decision-making. They envisioned the center as a way to enhance students’ business acumen and civic engagement.

Roger Davis was the owner and CEO of Paxton/Patterson, a Chicago-based pioneer in educational technology for classroom learning. The company's systems focus on problem-based, real-world technology for STEM education, health science careers, family and consumer sciences, and architecture and construction, covering grades three through 12. A 1972 University of Kansas alumnus in accounting and business administration, Roger joined the company in 1980 as general manager and credits his career success to the university's business faculty. A dedicated Jayhawk, he has contributed more than two decades of service on the School of Business Dean's Board of Advisors, including a tenure as board chair, as a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2013, and as board member emeritus in 2024.

Julie Davis is co-founder of Chicago-based Davis & Hosfield Consulting LLC, which specializes in providing damage analyses and expert testimony for a diverse range of clients, from local firms to global corporations. Before co-founding her firm in 2003 with Mark Hosfield, she led practices at major accounting firms. Julie earned her accounting degree from Kansas State University in 1978, where she has been recognized as an Alumni Fellow and inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame.

The Davis Center was led by Steve Hillmer until Felix Meschke took over as director in 2024. The different areas in the school are represented by Luxi Chai (Marketing), Mohammad Ghaderi (Finance), Rachel Green (Accounting), Steve Leonard (Management and Entrepreneurship), and Sara Reed (Analytics, Information and Operations Management).

Center news and updates