UCA President Houston Davis has gained vast educational experience throughout his career, yet at the end of the day, Davis said his duties to his family take precedence.
With his Ph.D. from Vanderbuilt University under his belt, Davis rose through the educational ranks to land jobs in systems management.
“One of the blessings of being in the system roles in both Oklahoma and Georgia was I had the opportunity to really have a very up close view of many types of universities,” Davis said. “I had the opportunity to see the operations of universities that were highly selective in terms of admissions … all the way through a spectrum that went to institutions that were, for the most part, open enrollment.”
While Davis was in Georgia, he was the Interim President at Kennesaw State University. Davis said his work as Interim President allowed him to get his feet on the university ground to try to fix things.
“It reminded me why I very much enjoy being on campus more than I enjoy being in the system office,” Davis said.
Davis said this was when he realized becoming a university president was one of his career goals.
Therefore, Davis said he and his wife picked UCA because they had roots in the mid-south, was geographically a good choice, has a good reputation and values community engagement.
“It just got to the point that the personal fit, for us, looked more and more like this could be a place where we could be very, very content,” Davis said.
Davis said he came to value free time and that he uses his free time to be a father and husband for his family.
Despite all of his duties as UCA President, Davis said family takes first priority.
“I tell all of our team here, nothing is more important than our family,” Davis said. “I expect for everyone to remember that they need to find a balance between family and work.”
Davis said when he and his wife, Jenny, sit at the table to plan a calendar on Sundays, it can be hard to plan time for both family and work.
“[Commitments for the week] usually gobbles up every waking hour,” Davis said, “But it’s not like I’m going to slack on my duties to UCA and I’m not going to slack on my duties as a dad and a husband either.”