W. David Watts is the fifth president for The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Prior to his February 2001 appointment as president, Dr. Watts served as vice president for academic and students affairs at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, where he had been since 1993. From 1990 to 1993, he was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University and was also a member of the sociology faculty there.
Dr. Watts is no stranger to Texas. A native Texan, he was department chair and a member of the faculty at Southwest Texas State University for nine years. His academic career also includes award winning teaching at Ohio University in the department of sociology and anthropology.
His research expertise centers on drug and alcohol abuse, prevention, and treatment, as well as education issues. In 1990, his department was named the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award of the American Sociological Association.
Since coming to UTPB, Dr. Watts has led UTPB's growth from 2,200 to over 6,100 students in Fall 2015. During his tenure, UTPB has achieved professional accreditation in business, engineering, nursing, education, music, athletic training, and social work. In 2015, Dr. Watts was selected Citizen of the Year by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.
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.