The University of Central Arkansas has selected Houston D. Davis as its 11th president.
Davis joins the 109-year-old university from Kennesaw State University in Georgia where he was interim president. He will succeed Tom Courtway, who is retiring to return to teaching.
UCA's board of trustees announced the hire during a special meeting Wednesday.
"I appreciate the trust President Tom Courtway and the board has placed in me," Davis said. "It is an honor and a privilege to serve as president of this great university with its proud past and even brighter future. My wife Jenny, my family and I look forward to the new year and becoming a part of the Conway and UCA communities."
Davis will receive a salary of $307,330 from state funds, plus $40,000 from the University of Central Arkansas Foundation Inc., according to his contract.
Davis previously worked 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 in Tennessee.
He 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's degree in political science at the University of Memphis.
Davis was among four finalists who visited UCA and Conway for a final round of interviews last week. He spent two days Conway, holding campus meetings with UCA faculty, staff and student organizations.
UCA began the search for a new president after Courtway announced in December plans to transition into a teaching role in UCA's business college. The university contracted with Parker Executive Search and in May named a search committee to conduct a nationwide search, which resulted in applications from nearly 40 candidates.
Eight semifinalists were interviewed in Dallas during the week of Oct. 17-21.