BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System has chosen Dr. Philip Williams to be the sixth president of McNeese State University.
Dr. Williams, the current President of the University of Montevello in Alabama, was selected over MSU Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jeanne Daboval.
"This was a difficult decision, as both candidates brought tremendous strengths to the table. Dr. Williams has a unique combination of experience in the public and private sector," said UL System Board Chair Winfred Sibille.
Before the board went into executive session, they heard from the two finalists one last time. After 90 minutes in executive session, the board unanimously named Williams as MSU's new leader.
"I am very honored and humbled. I know that the Board had a very thorough and deliberate process. To those who supported Dr. Daboval, we will reach out and listen. Now is a time to unify the campus," said Williams.
Williams said the first thing he would do would be to listen students, faculty and staff and hear their concerns. Williams also said his administration would be "inclusive, transparent and visionary."
Williams also said he would be a student-focused president.
Williams holds a Doctorate in Health Policy and Administration, a Master's Degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in History all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also earned a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law.
Williams said he and his wife Sandra, and their 20-year-old son Grant are all looking forward to moving to Lake Charles in the near future.
McNeese's fifth president, Robert Hebert, announced his decision to retire after 23 years. Hebert's final day is June 30th.