University of Central Arkansas presidential candidate, Houston Davis, visited campus Oct. 25 and 26 to address the campus community and get a tour of campus and Conway.
Davis made a 15-minute statement and answered questions from the campus community for 45 minutes in the McCastlain Ballroom the first day, before meeting with the Student Government Association.
“We are very excited about what we see here at UCA and we are very excited about what we see in Conway,” Davis Said.
Davis has been the interim president of Kennesaw State University in Georgia since June 2016 after their former president retired.
Before Davis was the Interim President of KSU he was the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of University System of Georgia for four years.
Davis made three commitments to the UCA community if he were to become president: be committed to student success, keeping affordable tuition, and to be transparent.
“I wholeheartedly believe in those things that round out a rich education for our students,” Davis said. “How do we take a passion of a student, know matter what discipline, how is it they are going to take their ideas and what they have learned and apply that to the human condition?”
Davis holds a Ph.D. in Education and human development from Vanderbilt University along with a masters degree from Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.
“When I look at UCA, I see an institution that has a culture of trying things,” Davis said. “ There are not a lot of institutions that will be the first to go out on a limb.”
Davis has held executive positions in universities from three different states: Tennessee, Georgia, and Oklahoma.
During the question and answer session of his visit, associate vice president for Institutional Diversity, Angela Webster, asked Davis “How might you see yourself shepherding an equal opportunity employment here at the university?”
Davis replied that he worked on several desegregation cases in Georgia and Tennessee. He also said that it is impractical not to bring diversity into the higher education system.
Davis addressed what he would be doing during his first 90 days at UCA’s President. He said the first two weeks would include a lot of listing. Davis wants to meet with faculty and admission one-on-one along with the Student Government Association.
The rest of the 60 days would consist of Davis meeting with local officials and find understating behind the current initiative of the university.
Davis’s resume can be found on the UCA website under Presidential Search.