May/June 2012
Rob Watts becomes GPC’s interim president; two new VP’s named Print E-mail

Phil SmithRob Watts

Editor's note: see press release on Interim President Watt's first address to college faculty and staff.

Rob Watts was named interim president of Georgia Perimeter College by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby effective May 14. This marks Watts’ third tenure at GPC: he started his USG career at the college, then known as DeKalb College, in 1986 and also served a previous stint as interim president in 2005-06.

“Rob is one of the University System’s most experienced leaders, given his responsibilities at the system office as well as leadership roles at three other institutions,” said Huckaby in making the appointment. “We are extremely fortunate to be able to call upon his skills in this important assignment at Georgia Perimeter.”

In an email to college employees, Watts called it “a personal honor and professional privilege to be back at GPC. … Some of you may know that I spent the earlier half of my career here. I care deeply about the institution, its access mission and the people here who work hard to achieve that mission.”

Watts got right down to work, appointing two vice presidents. Ron Stark will serve as GPC’s vice president for Fiscal Affairs. Phil Smith, who has worked at GPC as a business professor, dean and provost, is the new interim vice president for Academic Affairs.

Watts also named long-time professor Dr. Stuart Noel as the college’s interim dean of English.

Stark comes to GPC from the University System offices, where he served three chancellors as chief audit officer. He also served as vice president of business and finance at Fort Valley State University and, prior to joining the USG, worked at several other institutions of higher education.

Watts was GPC’s director of Institutional Research and Planning from 1986 until 1991, when he assumed the position of executive vice president for Fiscal Affairs. In 2000, he left Georgia Perimeter to become interim president at Floyd (now Georgia Highlands) College for one year. Watts also served as senior policy advisor to the chancellor, as interim director of the Gwinnett University Center (now Georgia Gwinnett College), as interim president at Middle Georgia College, and—beginning in 2006—as chief operating officer for the USG.

Prior to joining the University System, Watts was a budget analyst for the Legislative Budget Office of the Georgia General Assembly from 1982 to 1986. Previously, he was a Humanities Scholar in Residence for the General Assembly, from 1979 to 1981.

Watts earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. He also holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Bologna Center, in Bologna, Italy.

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