The former president of the University of Georgia is heading west to become chancellor at Pepperdine University, it was announced Thursday.
Michael F. Adams, 67, will serve as a key advisor to President Andrew K. Benton and will focus on expanding the university's mission and vision and its endowment, officials said.
The chancellor position had been vacant since 2008, when Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Runnels stepped down.
"I have great confidence that Mike will open doors of opportunity, giving us the advantage we need to become a preeminent, global, Christian university," Benton said in a statement.
Adams served as president of the University of Georgia from 1997 to 2013. During his tenure, the university was recognized by U.S News & World Report as one of the top 20 research institutions in the nation.
He previously served as president of Centre College in Danville, Ky., and was vice president of university affairs at Pepperdine from 1982 to 1988.
He has served on the American Council on Education and on the National Collegiate Athletic Association's executive committee.
"Mike has strong ties to Pepperdine and has contributed to almost every major discussion in higher education over the last 30 years," American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad said in a statement. "He is an accomplished leader, a prodigious fundraiser and has served both public and independent institutions."
Adams earned a doctorate in political communications from Ohio State University and was an advisor to former Tennessee Gov. and current Sen. Lamar Alexander.
"With President Benton's leadership and the support of the administration, I look forward to once again being a part of the Pepperdine community and adding value to this fine institution that boasts a legacy of excellence," Adams said.
He is scheduled to assume his new duties on Aug. 1.