Congratulations to Dr. Eric Watkins! Dr. Watkins has accepted the role of vice provost for distributed learning starting in September. In this new position, Dr. Watkins will provide leadership to drive the development of innovative, coordinated, and scaled systemwide distributed learning models, a commitment of the systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025.
As vice provost for distributed learning, Dr. Watkins will serve as a member of the EVPP leadership team and will collaborate with faculty, instructional staff, and academic leaders across the University, and with appropriate governance committees, to advance planning around the University’s online education strategy. The work will build on existing efforts by chancellors and deans, the Office for Undergraduate Education, the Graduate School, the Academic Health Sciences, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, Extension, and the Office for Public Engagement, among other key University units.
Dr. Watkins brings broad experience as a professor, academic administrator, and faculty leader who has championed teaching excellence, innovative instructional delivery, and expanded pathways for learners. Since joining the University faculty in 2004, he has held numerous leadership roles engaged with policies and practices related to teaching and learning. He currently serves on the University Senate Campus Curriculum Committee, has chaired the University Senate committees on information technology and student academic integrity, and has served as a member of the Faculty Consultative Committee. Dr. Watkins has received the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and is a former Office of Information Technology faculty fellow. As a teacher, he has a track record of advancing best practices in pedagogy and academic technology, integrating hybrid and online modalities with in-person instruction. He has held many academic leadership roles within CFANS and the department, and has served the state in applied research, outreach, and teaching. As vice provost for distributed learning, Dr. Watkins will hold an academic administrative appointment concurrently with his tenured faculty appointment.