By Brandon Moseley

The Alabama A&M University Board of Trustees voted on Saturday, October 2, to select Dr. Daniel K. Wims as the 12th president of Alabama A&M University.

The trustees vote in favor of Wims followed in-person interviews of the three Presidential Search Finalists. Current President Andrew Hugine, Jr., will retire from his position on December 31, 2021.  

Wims has been the long-time provost and vice president for academic affairs and research at the historically Black university in Huntsville. He is an agronomist.

Wims had been recommended by the retiring Hugine.

“Daniel Wims has worked with me for over 15 years and this experience provides me first-hand knowledge of his abilities and character,” Hugine said. “While here at Alabama A&M University, whatever success may have been achieved is attributed to the team in place and Daniel Wims, as Provost and second-in-command, has been an integral part of that team for twelve years.”

Wims has over 20 years of administrative experience in various governmental and higher education organizations. Wims formerly served as the executive vice-president and vice-president for academic affairs, and was a professor of agricultural sciences at The Fort Valley State University.

Wims has held a number of positions to prepare him for this role including assistant vice president for student affairs and associate professor at South Carolina State University; director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and associate professor of agricultural sciences at Florida A&M University; director of institutional research and assessment and assistant professor of agricultural sciences at Alcorn State University; director of the Small Farm Research and Resource Development Center and assistant professor of agricultural sciences at Southern University.

The other two finalists were Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, president of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, and Dr. Roderick L. Smothers Sr. the President of Philander Smith College. 

Wims thanked the board for being part of the interview process.  He said that his experience on national councils and major enterprises, extensive work with college presidents, service on accreditation teams and experience coming through the academic ranks has helped to prepare him for the University presidency.  

Wims said that AAMU made decisions long ago to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, even at the doctoral level. Wims added that during his period as provost, AAMU has sought to continue and expand its STEM focus. Wims said that he will stress artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, push data analytics, improve coding capabilities among a wider range of students, and focus on the recruitment of faculty in bio and alternative energy.

Wims received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 1987 from The Fort Valley State College and a master’s degree in agricultural extension and education with an agronomy concentration from The Ohio State University in 1989. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland-College Park in agricultural extension and education with a cognate in higher education administration.