Kirby Davidson, president & CEO of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (GSB) and its supporting organization the Prochnow Educational Foundation (PEF), recently announced his retirement effective December 31, 2024. Davidson joined GSB/PEF in 2000 as the vice president of marketing & banker relations. He was promoted to president & CEO in 2008.
During Davidson’s tenure as president & CEO, the school expanded its programming, adding four additional specialty schools (IT Management, IT Security, Sales & Marketing, and Digital Banking), in addition to the HR and Financial Managers Schools that were introduced in the early 2000s. Davidson, along with key faculty leaders, also worked closely with the Wisconsin School of Business so that graduates of GSB’s primary Graduate Banking School now receive the prestigious Executive Leadership Certificate from the Wisconsin School of Business — the highest leadership certificate available from UW — in addition to their GSB diploma.
Davidson oversaw research and development of the web-based bank management simulation software, FiSim, that replaced the previous BankSim model the school had used for decades. This state-of-the-art platform was launched in 2019 and is exclusive to GSB. It provides graduating seniors with a robust simulation model that incorporates modern, real-world approaches to banking and leadership within the model.
“Under Kirby’s leadership, the Graduate School of Banking has expanded its educational offerings and built on the school’s reputation for excellence and academic rigor. He has established a solid foundation for his successor and GSB is very well positioned to continue creating leaders and educating professionals in our dynamic industry,” said Randy Hultgren, president and CEO, Illinois Bankers Association, and chair, GSB Board of Trustees.
“We have an outstanding and experienced professional staff that has an average tenure of more than 15 years with GSB,” Davidson said. “This experience and passion for offering the best and most progressive educational programs, student/faculty experience, and expanded learning platforms — both residential and online — combined with having the best faculty in the industry, is key to GSB’s stellar reputation in the industry. Next year marks my 25th year at GSB and I’m so thankful and appreciative to the Board for having this opportunity, the friendships that have been formed and the numerous successes we’ve achieved.”
GSB has exclusively retained The QTI Group to conduct the search for the new president & CEO. The QTI Group is a comprehensive human resources advisory services firm founded in 1957 and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.
The search will launch in January 2024. Immediate inquiries for this position may be submitted to The QTI Group at the email or phone number listed below.
- Brooke Hintze
Executive Search Consultant
QTI Executive & Professional Search, Inc