Rob Watts, who previously served as Georgia Highlands’ —then named Floyd College — interim president from
2000 until the appointment of Pierce in 2001, will once again assume the same position beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
“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 USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “We are extremely fortunate to be able to call upon his skills in this important assignment at Georgia Highlands.”
Watts has an extensive career in the University System. He was chief operating officer for the USG until earlier this year, a position he held since 2006. He previously served as interim president of Georgia Perimeter College in Decatur from 2005-2006. From 2002 to 2005 he served as a senior policy adviser to the chancellor as well as the interim director of the Gwinnett University Center in Lawrenceville. From 2001 to 2002, Watts was the interim president at Middle Georgia College in Cochran.
He first joined Georgia Perimeter (then known as DeKalb College) in 1986 and served for five years as director of institutional research and planning. In 1991, he assumed the position of executive vice president for fiscal affairs, which he held until being named interim president at Floyd College.
Watts and retiring Georgia Highlands President Pierce worked together for a number of years at Georgia Perimeter College before Watts served his first stint as interim president in Rome.
“I personally couldn’t be more pleased,” said Pierce. “He knows all the legislative processes, knows the institution because he was here for a year. He’s dealt with all the issues.”
Pierce said that for much of the past five years Watts has been his go-to man at the USG office. He suggested that Watts has been in a position to help GHC develop a solution to the facilities issue in Marietta where GHC shares space on the Southern Poly campus.
Pierce said Watts is also uniquely qualified to help advance plans for a new academic building on the Cartersville campus.
Prior to joining Georgia Perimeter, Watts served from 1982 to 1986 as a budget analyst for the Legislative Budget Office of the Georgia General Assembly. He had previously served as a Humanities Scholar in Residence for the General Assembly, from 1979 to 1981. Watts earned both a 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.
Huckaby said plans for the search for Georgia Highlands’ next permanent president will be announced at a future date.