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K-State Today

November 29, 2023

Watts named inaugural associate vice president for academic and career engagement

Submitted by Kevin Cook

After a recent national search, Bill Watts has been named the inaugural associate vice president for academic and career engagement, effective Jan. 4, 2024. The associate vice president will be responsible for fostering the integration of academic and career development initiatives to advance student success and post-graduation outcomes.

The associate vice president will be a vital partner in realizing the 10 imperatives that are part of the Next-Gen K-State strategic plan and the four areas of focus for K-State's National Institute of Student Success playbook. Additionally, Watts will directly supervise K-State First, Academic Advising, the Career Center and Academic Success and Student Affairs technology.

"Bill has significant leadership experience in academic advising, academic support services, and career services," said Thomas Lane, vice president for academic success and student affairs. "I'm confident he will be the right person in this inaugural role and will help us move our strategic initiatives forward in this space."

Watts most recently served as the associate dean of student success at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was responsible for the exploratory and preprofessional advising, career services, undergraduate research and fellowships, and undergraduate persistence and degree completion initiatives. Prior to that role, he served in a variety of roles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of Missouri-Columbia, all within academic advising, career services and student success.

"I am excited to join K-State at this pivotal time," said Watts. "The excitement and energy on campus make it clear that the K-State community is embracing the Next-Gen K-State strategic plan. The opportunity to contribute to those efforts is humbling and I look forward to working with partners across campus to advance strategic imperatives tied to learners' academic and career engagement, along with learner success broadly."

Watts holds a bachelor's degree in social science from Buena Vista University and a master's degree in political science from University of Missouri-Columbia.