An East Carolina University dean will be taking over as president of Gardner-Webb University, according to a news release from the school. 

William M. Downs was unanimously confirmed as the new president during a special meeting of the Gardner-Webb University Board of Trustees. 

Downs serves as the dean of ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Science and will take over at Gardner-Webb July 1. 

Downs has been at ECU since 2014 and worked at Georgia State University prior to that. 

“I am truly honored by the privilege and opportunity of serving as Gardner-Webb University’s next president,” Downs said in the release. “So many things have attracted me and brought me to this moment…GWU’s mission and underlying values, its people and programs, and its rich traditions of excellence.  Together, we will have the chance to write a new chapter in the history of one of North Carolina’s great universities.  I cannot wait to get started.”