It was announced on Wednesday that Houston Davis, the president at the University of Central Arkansas, will take on the chair position of the Southland Conference Board of Directors for 2019-2021.

The two-year appointment was made in May during the Southland Conference 2019 Spring Meeting, a four-day event held in Frisco, Texas, which brought together in institutional presidents, athletic directors, faculty representatives, senior female administrators, student athletes, league staff members and other guests to address competitive, administrative and strategic initiatives and plans, according to a news release from the organization.

“We are very excited to announce that President Davis will be leading the Southland Conference Board of Directors as the group’s chair during the next two academic years,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett, said in a news release. “His executive experience and academic background, his knowledge of the Southland and NCAA matters and his genuine interest in the well-being of students make him a great fit for this important league role. We look forward to his term, and know the entire Southland Conference will benefit from his leadership.”

Dana Hoyt, the president of Sam Houston State, presided over her final meeting as chair, to be succeeded by Davis.

“I am honored by the opportunity to represent both the Southland Conference and the University of Central Arkansas in this capacity,” Davis said. “I look forward to the great work we will continue to do in the coming years.”

During the conference, an honors ceremony was held where several awards were given out, including the Steve McCarty Citizenship awards, presented to UCA student athletes Oakley Sisemore, a softball player from Farmington, who recently earned her master’s degree in environmental sciences, and Breylin Smith, a sophomore football player from Conway pursuing his bachelor’s degree in health education.

The Southland Conference was established in 1963 as a "dynamic and respected" association of 13 member universities in three states. The group includes:

• The University of Central Arkansas.

• Lamar University.

• McNeese State University.

• Nicholls State University.

• Northwestern State University.

• Sam Houston State University.

• Southeastern Louisiana University.

• Stephen F. Austin State University.

• Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

• Abilene Christian University.

• Houston Baptist University.

• The University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

• The University of New Orleans.

According to a news release from UCA, the Southland Conference sponsors 17 championship sports, all at the NCAA Division I level, and encompasses nearly 140,000 current students and an alumni base of 800,000.

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