COLLEGE STATION, March 8, 2011 — Following an extensive nationwide search that produced a diverse pool of more than 100 qualified applicants, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Karan L. Watson was appointed today by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to serve in that position at the flagship campus on a permanent basis.
Watson’s appointment was approved unanimously by the board during a special telephonic meeting today. Her appointment is effective immediately.
“Dr. Watson has done an outstanding job leading our academic efforts during the more than 18-month period in which she has served, on an interim basis, in this important role. I have worked closely with her on many critical matters, such as the budgetary issues facing the university, and I can certainly attest to her strong leadership skills, sound financial management and budgetary decision-making skills, and her tremendous strength as a consensus builder,” Loftin said.
“Throughout the extensive search process, support for Watson throughout the campus community has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am confident that she has the visionary leadership and critical thinking skills required for such a crucial position at our university, particularly as we continue to deal with enormous budgetary challenges,” Loftin continued. “She is also relentless in her efforts to ensure that all students who attend Texas A&M receive a high-quality and comprehensive education, one that is as affordable as possible. She has a proven record of success as a top-level administrator and teacher, and is very well-respected by her colleagues and peers. I look forward to a continued close working relationship with Dr. Watson as we aggressively deal with the important issues facing Texas A&M today and in the future,” Loftin added.
Watson, who also holds the title of Regents Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has held increasingly responsible leadership positions at Texas A&M since joining the faculty in 1983. She served as vice provost for strategic initiatives from 2008 until 2009, and dean of faculties and associate provost from 2002 until 2009. Before assuming the position of dean of faculties and associate provost, Watson held the position of associate dean for graduate studies in Texas A&M’s Dwight Look College of Engineering. She also served the college as associate dean for academic affairs and as a member of the Faculty Senate. She served as interim vice president and associate provost for diversity, a role that she held twice, in 2005 and again in 2009.
Watson is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society for Engineering Education. Her awards and recognitions include the U.S. President’s Award for Mentoring Minorities and Women in Science and Technology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science mentoring award, the IEEE International Undergraduate Teaching Award, The Texas A&M University Association of Former Students-University Award for Administrators and the College of Engineering Crawford Teaching Award.
She has chaired the graduate committees of 32 doctoral students and more than 60 master’s degree students. In 2003-2004, she served as a senior fellow of the National Academy of Engineering Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Engineering Education. Since 1991, she has served as an accreditation evaluator and commissioner and is now on the board of directors for ABET, Inc., formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. She has been principal or co-principal investigator for competitive grants and cooperative agreements totaling approximately $60 million and has authored or co-authored more than 70 peer reviewed publications.
Watson earned bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering, all from Texas Tech University.
The position of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Texas A&M is responsible for all academic matters, including budgetary oversight for all activities affecting teaching, research, and related activities.
Contact: Jason Cook, at (979) 458-1729