NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Dr. Carroll Van West to be state historian.

West replaces the late Walter T. Durham, who served 11 years in the honorary position.

West has served as director at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area since 2002.

The 58-year-old has taught as a professor in the MTSU history department since 1985.

He currently serves as a co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and as a Tennessee representative on the National Board of Advisors of National Trust for Historic Preservation.

West's term is four years.