Fisk names new president

Last updated on December 21st, 2012 at 09:17 pm

H. James Williams

H. James Williams, Ph.D., CPA, CMA, JD, LLM

Dr. H. James Williams takes the reigns 

The Presidential Search Committee of the Board of Trustees of Fisk University announced earlier this week that the Presidential finalist had been selected. Dr. H. James Williams was named the next President of Fisk University on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2012, after the Board met in special session and unanimously elected him. Dr. Williams is the 15th president of the university. He will assume his duties on February 1, 2013; and President O’Leary has agreed to delay her retirement to ensure a smooth transition.

Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, P. Andrew Patterson, said “Dr. Williams was selected after a rigorous national search. The Committee sought advice from a wide range of constituents and was supported by Diversified Search, an international executive search firm. The Board made an inspired selection. Dr. Williams has shown strong leadership, steadfast integrity and creativity in fundraising for scholarships, academic programs and buildings in partnership with corporate leaders, faculty and alumni.”

Dr. Williams earned a B.S. Degree in Accounting at North Carolina Central University, a M.B.A. Degree in Accounting at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a Ph.D. Degree in Accounting at the University of Georgia – Athens, and J.D. and LL.M. (Taxation) Degrees at Georgetown University Law Center. Dr. Williams is also a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant with a wealth of practical experiences in the public accounting profession and in the legal profession as a corporate and tax attorney.

Dr. Williams is very active in his present community. He serves on a number of community and corporate boards, including Baxter Community Center, the Civic Theatre, Fifth Third Bank, the Forest Hills Public Schools Foundation, Grand Rapids Arts Council, St. Mary’s Health Care, and The Washington Campus.

“Our task was to identify the next leader of Fisk who embodies the values, skills, intellect, and proven business and academic leadership needed to accelerate the progress made over the last eight years. I am delighted that in Dr. H. James Williams we have found such a leader. His breadth and depth of experience, multi-disciplined approach to teaching and research and unwavering commitment to the intellectual growth of students, as well as, community outreach, positions Dr. Williams to lead Fisk at this critical time in its history,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert W. Norton.

President Hazel R. O’Leary stated that “Dr. Williams is the right person for the job. He exhibits high energy, intellect, and a proven ability for fundraising. He is committed to Fisk and is well positioned to work successfully with the business and academic communities in Nashville and the nation.”

He is married to Carole Campbell Williams of Flint, Michigan. The Williamses have a twenty-two-year-old daughter and an eighteen-year-old son. “I am honored to have been offered the opportunity to lead Fisk University.

My wife, Carole, and I look forward to moving to Nashville and working with the community. We believe in the University both its past and its future. I am anxious to work with the Fisk family and its many constituents to chart an exciting future for Fisk,” said Dr. Williams.