Following a national search, the Huston-Tillotson University Board of Trustees announced Melva K. Williams, Ph.D. as the institution’s seventh president and chief executive officer, effective August 15, 2022. Williams brings her vast higher education experience to HT as an innovative scholar in positions as chief of staff, vice chancellor, and associate dean, managing multiple aspects of student affairs and enrollment management, ranging from athletics to recruitment.
“Dr. Williams’ reputation as a visionary leader, utilizing creative approaches to advancing higher education through layers of innovative improvements will position Huston-Tillotson University for the economic and technological advances shaping the Central Texas market,” said HT Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Carol McDonald.
Before coming to HT, Williams held numerous positions within the Southern University System (Louisiana), including executive associate to the chancellor, assistant vice chancellor, and vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at SU-Shreveport, vice chancellor at SU-New Orleans, and System chief of staff. A former associate dean of College at Centenary College of Louisiana, Williams has concurrently served as a professor, lecturer, and board member at several colleges and universities. Recently, she served as the senior director of programming for the Clinton Presidential Center. Additionally, she is the co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), a founding board member and board president for Magnolia School of Excellence, and is a national spokesperson for emotional intelligence (soft skills) development.
“I am honored and energized to serve as HT’s second female president,” Williams said. “The trust of the Board of Trustees and the HT Presidential Search Committee is very much appreciated, and I look forward to advancing an aggressive agenda that will ensure HT’s continued success.”
Williams earned a doctorate in higher education from Jackson State University (Mississippi), a master’s in public administration, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Grambling State University (Louisiana).
AGB Search, Inc. conducted the exploration and research for the University’s next president following the retirement of Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, identified nearly 50 applicants narrowed to eight semi-finalists, four finalists, and the selection of Dr. Williams.
About Huston-Tillotson University
Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest learning institution in Austin, Texas, has roots dating back to 1875. HT is an independent, church-related, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution located on a 23-acre tree-lined campus downtown in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University’s mission is to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. The University offers associate and master’s degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 19 areas of study.
Huston-Tillotson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Huston-Tillotson University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).