TO: Members of the Tougaloo College Community
FROM: Edmond Hughes, Chair, Presidential Search Committee
SUBJECT: Visit to the Campus by Finalist Candidates
As you know from previous reports of the presidential search committee, the final phase of our
search includes an invitation for our finalist candidates to visit the campus. We are pleased to
announce that we have invited the following two finalists (see attached biographical summaries)
to visit the campus:
Melva Williams, PhD – Monday, February 11, 2019
Carmen Walters, PhD – Tuesday, February 12, 2019
The purposes of these visits are two-fold. First, they will enable us to know the candidates better.
Second, and perhaps even more importantly, the visits will allow us to further acquaint the candidates with the College. We on the search committee have become well aware this is a twoway
process – while we have been narrowing the pool, we know candidates are likewise viewing
us with the same critical discernment. Committee members are strongly convinced the candidates
we have invited are capable of undertaking the many challenging tasks awaiting our next president.
For that reason, we want them to fully appreciate the excitement of these opportunities, and our
full commitment to the future of Tougaloo.
Throughout the search process, the committee has pledged to protect the identity of candidates.
Obviously, we can no longer promise confidentiality to these finalists, but I urge you to bear in
mind that each of them holds a significant position elsewhere, and any inquiries you feel obliged
to make about them should be handled with sensitivity and discretion.
In addition to the search committee's preliminary interviews with these candidates, we have had
many conversations with individuals who have worked with them and know them well. There is
a strong consensus within the search committee these candidates are capable of providing effective
leadership for the college.
In addition to meetings with representatives of the college’s constituencies, we have scheduled an
open forum so that all members of the college community can meet each candidate. These forums
will be held Monday, February 11, 2019, and Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at the Bennie G.
Thompson Academic Complex. The meeting with the faculty will be held each day at 2:00 pm
and the meeting with the staff, students and others will be held at 3:00 pm. We encourage all
interested members of the campus community to attend.
Following your meetings with each of the candidates, a feedback survey will be available on-line.
We ask that you complete within 24 hours of each candidate’s visit to the campus.
We are pleased with the progress of the search and look forward to this final phase. Thank you
for your continuing support and assistance.
Melva Williams, PhD
Dr. Melva Williams is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Management at Southern
University at Shreveport. Dr. Williams has over 17 years of experience in HBCU leadership. She
has executive-level experience in Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs,
Student Affairs and Fundraising. She has demonstrated experience as a senior level administrator
in sculpting budgets from static resources; creating sound community and developing partnerships;
ensuring a student-centered campus environment; managing and redesigning curriculum to meet
the needs of millennial students; and fostering collaboration with faculty and staff. She also serves
on the SACSCOC advisory committee. Dr. Williams is well versed in program and curriculum
development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff
conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Williams has extensive professional development in strategic
planning, strategic enrollment management planning, fundraising, human resources and
Her earned academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from
Grambling State University; a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from Grambling State
University; and the Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State
University. Her path of progression and professional experience in higher education began as
Program Advisor at Grambling State University. She transitioned to Southern University at
Shreveport and advanced from the position of Director of Student Activities and Services to
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. From there she was promoted to Chief of Staff for
the Southern University System and again advanced through the ranks to become Assistant Vice
President for Academic and Student Affairs for the Southern University System. Dr. Williams
returned to Southern University at Shreveport to serve as Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Student
Affairs. When offered a new opportunity, Dr Williams left to become the Associate Dean of
Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. Following her tenure there, she again returned to
Southern University at Shreveport as Executive Associate to the Chancellor and then was
promoted to her current position as Vice Chancellor.
Dr. Williams has been recognized for her leadership including being a Board member for
Centenary College of Louisiana and many other honors. She has supported a number of special
projects including Board member for the Christus Shumpert Hospital in Shreveport. Dr. Williams
has and continues to serve the community including serving as a founding board member and
board vice-president for the Magnolia School of Excellence. She is affiliated with a number of
professional associations. She is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation.
Carmen Walters, PhD
Dr. Carmen Walters is the Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management, Student Success
and Institutional Relations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, District Office,
Perkinston, MS. Dr. Walters has over 24 years of experience in community college leadership.
She has executive-level experience in the Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic
Affairs, Student Affairs and Workforce Development. She has demonstrated experience in
university and community college policy and procedures; grant management; budget management;
diversity relations; and athletics management. Dr. Walters is well versed in program and
curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and
faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Walters has extensive professional
development in strategic planning; strategic enrollment management planning; facilities planning;
human resources; and organizational management.
Her earned academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Accounting & Business
Administration from Southern University, New Orleans, Louisiana; a Masters of Arts + 30 in Post
-Secondary Counseling from Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana; and the Doctor of
Philosophy in Community College Leadership from Mississippi State University, Starkville,
Her path of progression and professional experience leading to her current position started as a
high school teacher at Landry High School in New Orleans. She followed that assignment by
serving as the case management supervisor in the Jefferson Parrish Department of Employment &
Training. She transitioned to Delgado Community College where she rose from the position of
Job Placement Counselor; to Academic Support Service/ Carl Perkins Coordinator; to Assistant to
the Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, College Provost, Carl Perkins Coordinator,
SACS Liaison; to Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Carl Perkins Coordinator, EAEO Officer,
ADA Compliance Officer; to Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Delegated Appointing
Authority. Dr. Walters then transitioned to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson
County Campus, Gautier, Mississippi where she started as Campus Vice-President and now serves
in her current position as Executive Vice President, Enrollment Management, Student Success and
Dr. Walters has been recognized for her leadership including being a member of Leadership
Mississippi, Mississippi Economic Council, Class of 2015 and many other awards. She has
supported a number of special projects including Team Member, Mississippi Gulf Coast
Community College Scholarship Gala. Dr. Walters has and continues to serve the community
including serving as a Board Member of Jackson County United Way. She is affiliated with a
number of professional associations. She currently serves as Chair of the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Community College Student Services Council.