CMU announces student affairs vice president

Reneé Watson will join university Aug. 1

| Author: Ari Harris

President Bob Davies today announced that Reneé Watson will serve as Central Michigan University’s vice president of student affairs, effective Aug. 1.

Watson was a finalist in a nationwide search led by a 12-member search committee, inclusive of students, faculty, staff and community members, led by CMU Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Shawna Patterson-Stephens.  Following meetings with student affairs staff and open forums for students and CMU community members, Watson has been selected to serve in the vice president role.

Renee Watson
Reneé Watson

“Reneé brings an incredible depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the field of student affairs to CMU, and shares my excitement for continuing to expand upon our commitment to student success,” Davies said. “I am delighted she has chosen to join our community of scholars and leaders, and I look forward to her partnership as we examine and improve our offerings.”

As the vice president of student affairs, Watson will provide leadership, vision and direction for the Division of Student Affairs, which includes the Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity, Counseling Center, Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute, Residence Life, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Student Disability Services, Student Media, University Recreation, the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, and more. 

“CMU is a vibrant, student-centered community and there is a lot of exciting promise here,” Watson said. “I am looking forward to engaging with students, colleagues and stakeholders to create a strategic vision for student affairs at CMU.”

Since 2018, Watson has served as associate vice president for student life for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where her primary responsibilities included working with the Student Affairs’ Vice President’s Council to provide divisional leadership and processes for long-range and strategic planning, as well as providing direct support and supervision for staff in many areas of campus operation. Her past experience also includes significant efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Before joining UNLV, Watson was associate dean of students at Illinois State University and also demonstrated leadership in student-focused positions at the University of Pikeville, Kentucky State University and the University of Texas.

She completed a bachelor’s degree in African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas and earned a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri at Saint Louis. She received a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University.
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