NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dillard University on Tuesday named a new president, Walter Kimbrough, to take over the helm of the historically black college in New Orleans.

Kimbrough, who currently serves as president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., is scheduled to start his new job on July 1, 2012.

Dillard’s board of trustees picked Kimbrough to replace Marvalene Hughes, who announced in February that she would be leaving the post.

Kimbrough served as president of Philander Smith College for seven years. Before that, he served as vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Ga., for four years.

Joyce Roche, who chairs Dillard’s board of trustees, said Kimbrough, 44, is one of the nation’s youngest college presidents and is known for using social media to stay connected with students.

“We are thrilled to bring such an energetic, visionary leader to Dillard,” Roche said in a statement. “Dr. Kimbrough is uniquely well-suited to help the university build on its strengths and chart a strategic course for the future.”

Kimbrough will be Dillard’s seventh president. Hughes became Dillard’s president in July 2005, a month before Hurricane Katrina struck and flooded the college along with roughly 80 percent of New Orleans.

Kimbrough has an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree from Miami University and a doctorate from Georgia State University.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press