The Georgia Board of Regents has announced that a retired University of Georgia administrator is the finalist to become the new chancellor of the University System of Georgia.
State Rep. Hank Huckaby (R-Watkinsville) is a Georgia native who retired in 2006 as the senior vice president for finance and administration at UGA, where he oversaw the university's $1 billion budget. In November, the regents launched a national search to replace Chancellor Erroll B. Davis, who retires June 30 after five years at the helm of the 300,000-student system.
By state law, the board must wait 14 days after naming finalists to officially vote on an appointment.
The Watkinsville Republican would take over a 35-campus system grappling with several years of deep budget cuts that have led to layoffs and slashed programs.
Huckaby's connection to Georgia universities goes back to his time as a student. As a student at three Georgia universities (Georgia State, Young Harris, University of Georgia), Huckaby earned three degrees—including in political science and business.
He has taught and lectured, and held several high level positions at various schools, including UGA.
He also knows state government. He’s headed two state agencies, and worked for the governor in budget and finance roles.
Huckaby’s currently represents District 113 in northeast Georgia. A fellow colleague of his on the House Higher Education Committee, Kathy Ashe says it’s his legislative experience that will serve him well as chancellor:
"…particularly legislative budget experience is extraordinarily important. And of course he knows Georgia. He’s been on every campus, it won’t be getting to know him. They know him. We know him.”
Huckaby is a native of Spalding County, Georgia.