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Office Of The President

Huston-Tillotson University’s Presidential Search

Leadership Position Profile

For President of

Huston-Tillotson University

University Profile

The Board of Trustees announces the search for the next president of Huston-Tillotson University.  Huston–Tillotson University is the oldest university and only historically black university in Austin, Texas. The University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Huston–Tillotson University awards four-year degrees in business, education, arts and the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, science, and technology. The University also offers alternative teacher certification and academic programs for undergraduates interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees in law and medicine.

Huston-Tillotson University is a private institution. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,112 (fall 2019), and the setting is urban. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Huston-Tillotson University’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges as a Regional College West was #34 (US News and World Report). A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-faith institution, the University welcomes students of all ages, races, and religions.

Huston-Tillotson University desires to secure a leader who will continue its great legacy and celebrate its accomplishments. Huston-Tillotson University seeks a visionary leader who will lead it to the next level and position the students and the university for greater opportunities. The next president must be prepared to strategically lead Huston-Tillotson University through expected and unexpected challenges.

The University expects to announce the selection of its new leader by summer 2022.

Huston-Tillotson University History

Tillotson College
The roots of Tillotson College date back to 1875 and build upon the work of the Freedmen’s Aid Society of the American Missionary Association of the Congregational churches (now United Church of Christ). Chartered in 1877 as Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute, the school began classes on January 17, 1881.

Many of Tillotson’s first students had no prior formal education. However, the eager students, who numbered 100 by the end of the first year, understood that their admission to Tillotson made them among the elect of their race and placed upon them the responsibility to enrich others through the skills they would derive from their education.

On June 2, 1909, a new charter was issued, and the school was renamed Tillotson College, a “normal school” for the training of teachers for the black community.  The school was reorganized in 1925 as a junior college, in 1926 as a women’s college, and again in 1931 as a senior co-educational institution. Renowned for its departments of education and music, the college received Class A accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1943.

Samuel Huston College
In 1876, the Reverend George Warren Richardson, a Methodist minister from Minnesota, leased St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church of Dallas, Texas, as the site for a school for the African American youth of the city.  In 1878, the school was moved to Austin, Texas, and housed in what is now Wesley United Methodist Church.

As was the case with Tillotson College, Samuel Huston underwent various configurations throughout its developmental years. Before the end of its first year, the fledgling school had been adopted by the West Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and renamed Andrews Normal College in honor of a church leader. In December of 1887, however, Samuel Huston, a farmer from Marengo, Iowa, donated property estimated to be worth $10,000, with the understanding that the school would bear his name. Samuel Huston College was chartered in 1910 as a private educational corporation under the laws of Texas. In 1926, it was approved as a senior college by the State of Texas Department of Education and in 1934 was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Merger
Throughout the history of Samuel Huston College and Tillotson College, moral and religious instruction undergirded the curriculum at both institutions. The schools also contributed significantly to the social and civic life of Austin’s black citizens.  Located less than one mile apart in East Austin, the institutions enjoyed healthy competition and rivalry in athletic programs, cooperation in student activities, and collegial relationships among the faculty, staff, and students. These features became distinguishing traits of the two campuses, while the corresponding commitment to community service affirmed the institutions’ concept of the responsibilities that befell educated persons.

However, despite periods of relative prosperity, neither college enjoyed a wealth of material or financial resources. Consequently, and because of their mutual interests, values, and constituencies, the trustees of Samuel Huston College and Tillotson College met jointly on January 26, 1952 and agreed to detailed plans for merging the two institutions on the site (then known as “Bluebonnet Hill”) of Tillotson College.   The merger was consummated, and the new Charter of Incorporation for Huston-Tillotson College was signed on October 24, 1952. The merged institutions adopted “In union, strength” as their motto. 

Today the College continues to both honor and foster its relationship with its founding denominations as well as its racial and ethnic heritage.

On February 28, 2005, the institution advanced its mission further by changing its name to Huston-Tillotson University.


Huston-Tillotson University is a historically black university affiliated with The United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the UNCF.

The mission of the University is to provide its increasingly diverse student body with an exemplary education that is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, balanced with professional development, and directed to public service and leadership.

The mission fosters spiritual development, preserves and promotes interest in the accomplishments and experiences of the University’s historic constituents and evolving population, and creates and sustains supportive relationships which advance the Huston-Tillotson University community.


Huston-Tillotson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools  Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees. (

Huston-Tillotson University is also approved for listing as an affiliated institution by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church, (UMC: ) and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC: ).


Austin, Texas…known as the live music capital of the world, is ranked one of the best cities in America to live in.  The food is great, the music better, and the people friendly.  The Austin population per the 2020 census hovers around the 1 million level.  The Austin region’s population has historically doubled every 20-25 years since the 1850s.  Austin is the 11th largest city in the country and the fastest growing large metropolitan area in the country for each of the last 10 years.  Austin is a majority/minority city.

Austin is the home of the SXSW Conference & Festivals, Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival, and the longest-running PBS TV show and longest-running music show in America (48 years), Austin City Limits.  Whole Foods, Dell, Outdoor Voices, National Instruments, Indeed, Bumble, Yeti, Tito’s Vodka, Kendra Scott, and Silicon Labs, to name a few, started in Austin and have their headquarters here.  Samsung, Apple, Google, Tesla Headquarters and Manufacturing Campus, Oracle, Amazon, and Meta (Facebook) are among some of the larger companies that have a major presence in Austin.

Austin is an educated city and boasts 5 schools of higher learning within the city:  Austin Community College, St. Edward’s University, Concordia University of Texas, University of Texas at Austin, and Huston-Tillotson University.

Austin is a progressive city in a conservative state.  It is an innovative, creative, entrepreneurial city with a very high tolerance for risk-taking.   With growth come challenges, such as affordability, and the City Council is working to address that.  It is a city that recognizes and affirmatively works to address the institutional racism and systemic inequities that exist in our public and private institutions.



The next president of Huston-Tillotson University must be prepared to address the following opportunities and challenges.


  • Huston-Tillotson University is at the cutting edge of growth, change, and development. The new president will have the unique opportunity to increase the University’s presence in Austin. They will also leverage good will and provide leadership in the city of Austin.
  • The new president can use the strategic plan to continue to strengthen and build relationships with the diverse companies and organizations based in Austin.
  • Given the strong growth rate in Austin, new and effective partnerships can be developed with the tech industry, health care, and hospitality.
  • Huston-Tillotson University needs to determine its approach to the increasing diversity of Austin.
  • Huston-Tillotson University has significant, well-placed land available for development. A creative plan is needed for the use of this property to support the growth of the University and/or create new revenue streams.
  • Through programming partnerships, the University has strong support for making improvements in recruitment, retention, and graduation rates.
  • The new president will continue to build stronger relationships within the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ communities, nationally and locally.
  • Strong opportunities exist for measurable improvements in internal customer service and communication.


As unique as the opportunities facing the next president are, there are some unique challenges that will also confront the next president as a consequence of the recent pandemic, social and economic events in Texas and the nation, and residual infrastructure issues.


  • While Huston-Tillotson University has made great progress in facility renovation, it has continued needs for improvements in infrastructure, systems, process renewal, and programming.
  • As with similarly situated institutions, the University has experienced significant turnover in both faculty and staff. Achieving greater institutional stability will require resolving turnover issues.
  • Assets are needed to provide better student life resources, recreation, and social and cultural spaces.
  • Increased scholarship support is needed for Huston-Tillotson University’s population.
  • The political climate in Texas is a significant challenge to navigate.
  • The next president of Huston-Tillotson University will need to find ways to work with a rapidly changing community around the University and respond to the high demand for the engagement of the president on campus and as a catalyst for change in the Austin community, especially the burgeoning tech community in the area.


  • The Huston-Tillotson community desires a student-centered leader who is engaged and responsive to student needs.
  • The next president of Huston-Tillotson University should have background experience that demonstrates the ability to navigate the institution effectively in the higher education landscape, locally and nationally.
  • The University has very serious capital needs that require a president with effective experience in capital campaign planning and development, fundraising, and knowledge of and connectivity with foundations and corporations.
  • A leader who has a mind for innovation and is transparent.
  • The next president should have demonstrated experience with improving institutional infrastructure and process.
  • Experience working publicly with various stakeholders, the community, government officials, and businesspersons on key and critical issues driving social change.
  • Demonstrated business savvy and a lens for business continuity will be very important.


The successful candidate must possess the following qualifications:

  • An earned terminal degree is required.
  • Demonstrated success in enhancing student learning outcomes and management of faculty to do the same.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with diverse internal and external stakeholders.
  • Must be strategic, must be a visionary, and must be an effective communicator. 


The Huston-Tillotson University Search Committee for the next president will begin reviewing and evaluating applications as they are received.

The application package should be submitted electronically in MSWord or Adobe PDF format and must include:

  • A Letter of Interest that responds to the Leadership Position Profile and the specific qualifications and desired characteristics for the president.
  • A current and comprehensive CV or resume.
  • The names and contact information (telephone and e-mail addresses) for five professional references. References will not be contacted without the permission of the applicant but should be available for contact if the applicant is selected for an interview.

To ensure fullest consideration, applicants are advised to submit their materials by

midnight Eastern time, May 13, 2022 to:

AGB Search is assisting Huston-Tillotson University with this search.

Inquiries, nominations, and questions should be directed to a member of our search consultant team:

Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd

Executive Search Consultant

AGB Search

Mobile: (301) 538-1019

Dr. Carlton Brown

Executive Search Consultant

AGB Search

Mobile (912) 247-8661

All inquiries and applications will be received and evaluated in confidence.

Huston-Tillotson University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all applicable Federal and Texas State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action in its programs and activities. Huston-Tillotson University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran’s status. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. and complete employment eligibility verification paperwork.