Appointment of Interim Provost and Executive VP for Academics
July 28, 2009
I am pleased to announce that Karan L. Watson, Ph.D., P.E., will serve as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academics, following the resignation of Jeffrey S. Vitter from the position in order to return to the faculty in computer science. Dr. Watson currently serves as Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, a position that she has held since December 2008.
As many of you are aware, Dr. Watson is no stranger to the Texas A&M University campus. Prior to serving as Vice Provost, she had been Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost since February 1, 2002. She joined the faculty of Texas A&M in 1983 and is currently a Regents Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Before assuming the position of Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost, Dr. Watson served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Dwight Look College of Engineering. She also served the Look College as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as a member of the Faculty Senate. She was Interim Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity from November 2005 to September 2006, a role that she again held from last fall until earlier this month.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Watson 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.
Given that Texas A&M’s presidential search is now under way, my intent is to allow the new President the opportunity to begin the search process for the University’s next Provost and Executive Vice President for Academics. During this time of transition, it is imperative that we maintain our focus on our academic mission of teaching, research and service. I thank you in advance for supporting Dr. Watson in her interim position and new era of service at Texas A&M.
Dr. R. Bowen Loftin ’71