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Huston-Tillotson University announces new president

The university's former president, Colette Pierce Burnette, retired earlier this year.

AUSTIN, Texas — Huston-Tillotson University has announced its new president and chief executive officer.

Dr. Melva K. Williams, Ph.D., was selected out of nearly 50 candidates to become the university's seventh president and CEO.

Huston-Tillotson said Williams brings to the university her "vast higher education experience 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 Dr. Carol McDonald, chair of the university's Board of Trustees.

RELATED: Huston-Tillotson University president announces 2022 retirement

Williams earned a doctorate in higher education from Jackson State University in Mississippi, and a master's in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Grambling State University in Louisiana.

Huston-Tillotson said prior to coming to the university, Williams held numerous positions in the Southern University System in 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. 

She is a former associate dean of College at Centenary College of Louisiana and has served as a professor, lecturer and board member at several colleges and universities.  

RELATED: Huston-Tillotson University listed on National Register of Historic Places

Huston-Tillotson said Williams recently served as the senior director of programming for the Clinton Presidential Center. She is the co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.) and a founding board member and board president for Magnolia School of Excellence. She is also a national spokesperson for emotional intelligence 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 succeeds Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, who retired earlier this year.

Faculty return to Huston-Tillotson on Monday, Aug. 15. Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 22.

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