Dr. Mike Williams Begins Presidency at Harding University

Harding University’s sixth president, Dr. Mike Williams, begins his tenure Wednesday, June 1, 2022. He steps into this role ahead of the University’s centennial anniversary.

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

The board of trustees announced the selection of Williams on Oct. 27, 2021, after a nine-month, nationwide search.

“This is an exciting time for Harding University,” said Dr. Robert Walker, chairman of the board of trustees. “We are poised to enter a new era under the leadership of our sixth president, Dr. Mike Williams. 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.”

Williams 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 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 2015-2022. 

Dr. David Burks 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. 

“We have been truly blessed to have Dr. David Burks serve as president over the past 18 months,” said Walker. “We are pleased that he will resume his role as chancellor of Harding and work to assist in the advancement of our great University.”

Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 110 undergraduate majors; 14 preprofessional programs; more than 40 graduate and professional programs; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, England, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit harding.edu.