Texas A&M University System regents voted unanimously Saturday to appoint Hussey, who comes from an academic background, to lead the 53,000-student campus.
Hussey has been the system's vice chancellor and A&M's dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences since 2008.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp says Hussey won't seek the post permanently. He begins Jan. 14.
A&M faculty leaders had been bracing for the possibility that the regents would choose someone from outside of academia at a time when A&M is enjoying record enrollment and a resurgent football program.
Gov. Rick Perry, a former A&M student, had thrown his support behind Guy Diedrich, the A&M system's vice chancellor for strategic initiatives who didn't come from the classroom.