A native Texan, Dr. W. David Watts was department chair and a member of the faculty at Southwest Texas State University for nine years. His academic career also includes a teaching stint at Ohio University in the department of sociology and anthropology.
His research expertise centers on sociological issues related to drug and alcohol abuse, prevention, and treatment, as well as education issues. He continues to be active in his discipline through professional presentations and publishing. In addition, throughout his administrative career he has served on a number of state education task forces and committees. In 1990, his department was named the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award of the American Sociological Association.
Dr. Watts holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and English from UT Austin. Both his master’s and doctorate in sociology are from the State University of New York in Buffalo.
As the longest serving president at UTPB, Dr. Watts has been helping to shape both the university and local community since he assumed the position in June, 2001.
“The reputation of UTPB has been significantly advanced, as recognized by both Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, under his leadership,” said Lorraine Perryman, UTPB Development Board Member and former Mayor of Odessa.
During his tenure, University enrollment has increased 131 percent and student housing has increased from six buildings and 96 beds in 2001 to 37 buildings and 873 beds as of fall, 2014. He has also instituted numerous programs, including Nursing, Music and Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering.
UTPB was the first school in Texas to offer a $10,000 bachelor’s degree in select majors and has numerous national accreditations in Art, Business, Education, Mechanical Engineering, Social Work and Music thanks to Dr. Watts commitment to both the university and community.