Douglas Hicks is Professor in the religion department
and Senior Advisor for Academic Initiatives at Colgate University. He formerly served as Colgate’s Provost and Dean of the Faculty. In 2015-16, Hicks is on sabbatical leave and is writing a book on leadership in higher education.
As Provost and Dean of the Faculty from 2012-2015, Hicks led the four academic divisions of Colgate’s faculty, as well as university libraries, information technology, athletics, museums, international initiatives, and the office of equity and diversity. With President Jeffrey Herbst, he was a principal architect of the university’s strategic plan, Living the Liberal Arts
, and he led the successful implementation of the plan’s academic priorities: internationalization, technological innovation, civic engagement, and pedagogical development.
Hicks was formerly professor of leadership studies and religion in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies
at the University of Richmond, where he taught from 1998 until 2012. As founding director of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement
, he built a staff team of a dozen members to promote community-based learning, civic partnerships, and applied research on public issues. He also stewarded a major gift for, and led the development and launch of, the University of Richmond Downtown initiative
. He received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV), the commonwealth’s highest recognition for professors.
Scholarship and Teaching
What makes for a good life, and can it be pursued in common? What does justice look like in a complex, global economy? How can leaders, despite their personal interests and failures, guide organizations and communities to do the right thing? How do people appropriately integrate their religious commitments into the various activities of their lives? What role should religiously based moral convictions play in a devout and diverse society?
Questions such as these fuel my own scholarship, and I aim to inspire my students to grapple with them and arrive at their own answers.
Over my career I have been fortunate to study with economists, theologians, ethicists, and leadership scholars, and I apply insights from those various fields to the moral issues that concern us all: how to build from religious tolerance and mutual respect to confront fears, real and imagined, in an age of terrorism; how to balance the needs of other nations with those of our own; how to understand the appropriate and constructive role of business and commerce within our civil society.
In my fourth book, Money Enough: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy
(Jossey Bass, 2010), I look at how people spend and save money, how labor fits with leisure, and how various aspects of economic life can be viewed through the lens of daily practice. And I frame some key theological and ethical questions, such as: What is the appropriate role of money in a well-lived life?
On my website
there is information about Money Enough
, and three other books that I wrote earlier in my career, along with links to articles, public talks, and other materials.
In With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America
(Oxford University Press, 2009), I consider the ways leaders must draw together people from varied backgrounds in order to transform the problem of diversity into an opportunity. In other words, how do we turn the cacophony of beliefs and practices into a kind of citizenship worthy of the American tradition of religious freedom?
In Religion and the Workplace
(Cambridge University Press, 2003), I propose some constructive solutions based on a respectful pluralism that allows for the expression of individual beliefs and practices.
And in Inequality and Christian Ethics
(Cambridge University Press, 2000) I draw on Christian social ethics, political philosophy, and development economics, in order to illuminate contemporary realities and trends of inequality, as well as their moral significance.