Houston D. Davis, Ph.D.
Interim President, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Houston Davis, the chief academic officer for the University System of Georgia, was appointed interim president of Kennesaw State University by USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby on May 26, 2016 and assumed his new duties on July 1, 2016.
In his position as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer with the USG, a role he has held since May 2012, he was responsible for meeting the academic needs of more than 318,000 students and approximately 13,300 University System faculty members. Specifically, Davis oversaw all matters related to academics and students. He led the division of academic affairs that encompassed academic programs and policy, tenure and promotion, faculty development, intercollegiate athletics, distance education, academic and public libraries, teacher preparation, accreditation and other areas.
Prior to the USG, Davis was vice chancellor for academic affairs for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a system consisting of 25 universities and colleges as well as constituent agencies. He also served as associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents (2005-2007) and worked in the field of academic leadership and on the faculty for Austin Peay State University (2001-2005).
Davis also worked in the areas of fiscal and academic affairs for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (1997-2001) and as a regional student recruitment and advancement representative for the University of Memphis (1995-1997).
In addition to his professional duties, he served in the role of director for the National Educational Needs Index project from 2004-2011, an initiative measuring educational, economic, and population pressures in the 50 states that influence policy and planning at local, regional, and national levels.
Davis was selected as part of the 2005 class of the National Center for Higher Education and Public Policy Associates program, a mid-career leadership opportunity for professionals engaged in policy impacting higher education.
He is involved in research projects and writing in the areas of higher education access, governance, economic development, and accountability issues in higher education and serves on several national advisory groups on higher education policy, degree completion, academic preparation, and accountability.
A native of Clarksville, Tennessee, Davis received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Memphis, and a master’s in education from Tennessee State University.