As the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA) for the University of Utah since 2013, Ms. Watkins serves as the university’s chief academic officer, with responsibility for the quality of academic programs and facilities, the success of faculty and students, and the alignment of campus resources with the priorities and strategic directions.
Before becoming SVPAA at the University of Utah, Ms. Watkins was the dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois and professor of speech and hearing science, psychology and linguistics. She joined the faculty at the University of Illinois as an assistant professor in 1993. She served as associate dean for academic and research affairs in the College of Applied Health Sciences from 2000-2003 and in the Office of the Provost as associate provost from 2003-2006 and vice provost 2006-2008.
Ms. Watkins graduated with highest honors from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor of arts in speech-language pathology, then earned a master of arts in child language at the University of Kansas and continued there to earn a doctorate in child language. She also holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology.