BREAKING: Reneé Watson named vice president of student affairs

Renee Watson. Courtesy Photo | Division of Student Affairs

Reneé Watson has been named CMU’s vice president of student affairs, effective August 1. 

Watson was a finalist in a nationwide search led by a 12-member search committee, which was led by CMU Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Shawna Patterson-Stephen and included students, faculty and staff. 

The Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity, Counseling Center, Leadership Institute, Residence Life, Sexual Aggression Services, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Student Disability Services, Student Media, University Recreation, the Volunteer Center all fall under the student affairs division. 

Watson has about 15 years of experience working in higher education and currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Student Life at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV).

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.

Read Watson's complete background by visiting CMU's website. 

The addition of Watson increases CMU President Bob Davies' cabinet to 14 administrators. 

“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.”

When Watson visited campus April 14 for open forums, she highlighted boosting student involvement by conducting surveys to gauge opinions about programs and continuing to offer virtual options for remote students.

Watson hosts a podcast called, “Let’s Talk UNLV” where she speaks to guests from different student organizations about campus highlights, programs and services. 

“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.”