JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Dr. David Watts Named President of U.T. Permian Basin

JACKSONVILLE -- February 15, 2001 -- Dr. W. David Watts, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, was named President of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin on Wednesday, February 14.

Watts is expected to take office this summer. He will succeed Charles R. Sorber, who has been President since 1993 and will return to a faculty position at U.T. Austin.

The Board of Regents selected Watts unanimously after interviewing him and one other finalist, Danny R. Arnold, Business Dean at New Mexico State University.

A third finalist, Beverley Byers-Pevitts, a former administrator at Texas Woman’s University, withdrew in early February to accept the presidency of Park University in Missouri.

“Dr. Watts is eminently qualified for this important leadership position. We are delighted that he has accepted the presidency,” said Tom Loeffler, Chairman of the Board of Regents.

“He brings to this new role a distinguished record of achievement as an administrator, a teacher, and a scholar. Selecting the presidents of U.T. System institutions is one of the most critical roles of the Board of Regents, and it is a pleasure to carry out this responsibility by selecting someone of Dr. Watts’ abilities and experience.”

R.D. Burck, Chancellor of the U.T. System, said: “Dr. Watts has the depth of experience and the range of talents as an academic administrator that are essential for the presidency of U.T. Permian Basin. He will provide dynamic leadership as the institution addresses the challenges and opportunities of higher education in the 21st century.”

Edwin R. Sharpe, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and chairman of a search committee that recommended the finalists, commented: “The search committee was strongly impressed with the qualifications of Dr. Watts, and we are confident that he will do a superb job of leading the University and bringing together all of its constituencies – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community – in a shared commitment to excellence.”

Watts was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Jacksonville State University from 1993 to 1996 and has been Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs since 1996.

He was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Southeastern Louisiana University from 1990 to 1993.

He was a faculty member at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos from 1981 to 1990 and at Ohio University from 1970 to 1981.

Watts earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and English from U.T. Austin and two degrees in Sociology – a master’s degree and Ph.D. – from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


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