CLARKSVILLE — The University of the Ozarks Board of Trustees selected Richard L. "Rich" Dunsworth as the university’s 25th president.

Dunsworth’s appointment will be effective July 1, 2013. He will succeed Rick Niece, who will retire in June after 16 years as president of the private, Presbyterian-affiliated school.

Dunsworth, 43, has served as vice president for enrollment at Millikin University in Illinois since 2004. He has worked at Millikin since 1991, including stints in student life and academic development.

"At University of the Ozarks we found the perfect fit," Dunsworth said. "When my family and I began this process, we hoped to find an institution that was grounded in faith, which would allow for the opportunity to share our personal and professional lives, and one that would welcome the entire family. We feel blessed to have found such an institution."

Dunsworth’s appointment concludes a nationwide search launched in February, led by an 11-member search committee comprised of six trustees and representatives from the faculty, staff, student body and alumni. The committee, chaired by trustee Chris Allen of Clarksville, chose Dunsworth over more than 50 applicants.

He grew up in rural Colorado and was the first member of his family to graduate from college when he earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in 1991. He received a law degree from the University of Illinois.

Dunsworth earned a master’s degree in education from Eastern Illinois University in 1994 and received a certificate from the institute for educational management program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2008. He was on the board of directors of the Greater Decatur and Macon County Chamber of Commerce and is the current board chair of the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois.

Dunsworth and his wife, Holly, have a 9-year-old son, Nicolas, and 7-year-old twins, Matthew and Emma.