Newly-selected University of Central Arkansas President Houston D. Davis welcomed by outgoing President Tom Courtway

Newly-selected University of Central Arkansas President Houston D. Davis welcomed by outgoing President Tom Courtway

The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees has named Dr. Houston D. Davis as the 11th president.

Davis joins UCA from Kennesaw State University where he served as interim president. Davis brings many years of experience to UCA, after serving as the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University System of Georgia, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, project director and principal investigator for the National Educational Needs Project, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents and associate vice president for academic affairs and assistant professor at Austin Peay State University.

Davis received his Doctor of Philosophy in education and human development at Vanderbilt University and his Master of Education in educational administration at Tennessee State University. Davis earned his Bachelor of Science in political science at the University of Memphis.

“I appreciate the trust President Tom Courtway and the board has placed in me. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as president of this great university with its proud past and even brighter future,” Davis said. “My wife, Jenny, my family and I look forward to the new year and becoming a part of the Conway and UCA communities.”

The announcement was made Wednesday, Nov. 2 during a special Board of Trustees meeting. Davis and three other finalists visited UCA and Conway for a week of interviews, campus tours and community receptions during the week of Oct. 24-28.

Davis spent two days in Conway, starting with campus meetings with UCA senior staff, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, the Student Government Association, an address to campus and a community reception. He also took a campus tour and a tour of Conway.

UCA began the search for a new president after UCA President Tom Courtway announced his intention to transition into a teaching role in the College of Business. The university contracted with Parker Executive Search and named a Presidential Search Advisory Committee to conduct a nationwide search in May. The search committee accepted application packets from nearly 40 candidates, then narrowed the pool down to eight semifinalists who were interviewed in Dallas during the week of Oct. 17-21. Four candidates were then selected to visit Conway as finalists. Each of the four candidates participated in multiple campus interviews before the selection was finalized.

Founded in 1907 as Arkansas State Normal School, the University of Central Arkansas has emerged as a premier learner-focused public, comprehensive university. UCA continually ranks among the best regional universities in the south by U.S. News & World Report with more than 11,000 students, 400 full-time faculty and 150 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs across six colleges and the Graduate School. UCA is committed to excellence through the delivery of outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that remains current and responsive to the diverse needs of those it serves. Students engage in scholarly endeavors that promote the free pursuit of knowledge and lifelong learning. The university’s faculty and staff promote the intellectual, professional, social, and personal development of its students through innovations in learning, scholarship and creative endeavors.