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Errol B. Davis Jr. Named First Black Chancellor-Designate of the University System of Georgia


Board of Regents Chairman J. Timothy Shelnut announced this week that Erroll B. Davis Jr., chairman of Alliant Energy Corp., based in Madison, Wis., has been named chancellor-designate of the University System of Georgia.

Davis will assume the chancellor’s position in early 2006.

Davis will fill the position vacated by former Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith, who resigned in July and served through Sept. 30. Interim Chancellor Corlis Cummings has served since Oct. 1.

Davis’ appointment was voted upon in an Open Session meeting conducted by the regents at their offices in Atlanta.

“Erroll Davis has the perfect combination of business acumen and people skills required to be successful in the chancellor’s post,” Shelnut said during his introduction of the new chancellor. “He is a proven leader — both in business and higher education circles — and we are looking forward to the fresh perspective and energy he will bring to this role.”

Davis has served as chairman of the board of Alliant Energy Corp. since 2000, after joining the company in 1998 as president and chief executive officer. He retired from his dual roles as president and CEO in July 2005, and retained the chairman’s post. Prior to the creation of Alliant Energy, Davis served as president and CEO of WPL Holdings, from 1990 to 1998. From 1978-1990, Davis rose through the senior management ranks at Wisconsin Power and Light Company, starting as vice president of finance and ending as CEO and president. His career also includes corporate finance positions at Xerox Corporation and Ford Motor Company.

Davis’ higher education experience includes serving as a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents from 1987-1994, and as a former chairman of the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University, of which he is a life member. He presently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Davis earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1965 and a M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago in 1967. He is a member of the board of directors of BP p.l.c., PPG Industries, Inc. and Union Pacific Corp., and numerous professional associations and civic organizations. In 2004, he was elected to the U.S. Olympic Committee Board, and also chairs the USOC’s Audit Committee.

Davis and his wife, Elaine, established the Davis Family Foundation, which makes annual grants to numerous students in need. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including recognition as one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise magazine, the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.

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