SEARCY, Ark. – Harding University’s sixth president, Dr. Mike Williams, began his tenure on Wednesday, stepping into the role just ahead of the University’s centennial anniversary.

“We are passionate about making a Christian education a reality for a new era of emerging adults,” Williams said. “This consequential moment in our history provides us with a time to be introspective as we envision a bold and productive future.”

Williams has a long history with Harding, having earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Harding in 1985 and later returned to earn his Master of Business Administration. He earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Williams then began serving on Harding’s admissions staff in 1987, was named director of admissions services in 1991, and later was appointed vice president of advancement in 2003. Most recently, he served as the president of Faulkner University from 2015 to 2022. 

The board of trustees announced their selection of Williams back in October after a nine-month, nationwide search.

“This is an exciting time for Harding University,” said Dr. Robert Walker, chairman of the board of trustees. “He will join our previous presidents in facing the challenges of higher education in the current culture yet staying true to our mission of providing a quality education that will lead to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals.”

Dr. David Burks has now transitioned back to the role of chancellor on June 1, after stepping in to serve as Harding’s president for the second time in December 2020. He previously served as chancellor from 2013-2020 and as the University’s fourth president from 1987-2013.