Karan Watson Named President-elect of ABET

Texas A&M University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Karan Watson has been named president-elect of ABET, the world leader in higher education accreditation for applied science, computing, engineering, and technology programs.

Photo of Karan WatsonShe was elected by the ABET board of directors this week and will be formally installed in October, setting the stage for her to lead the organization in 2012-13.

Watson has been involved with ABET and accreditation for more than 20 years. She was a program evaluator from IEEE (formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) and served on ABET's Engineering Accreditation Commission from 2001 through 2006. Currently, she is the representative director from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) on the ABET Board of Directors.

She is a fellow of both ASEE and IEEE and has been awarded the IEEE field medal for undergraduate teaching (1996). In 1997 she received the ASEE Minorities in Engineering Award. She served on the ASEE Women in Engineering Board in 1992 and 1997. She has served as president of the IEEE Education Society and the chair of the IEEE Women in Engineering Committee.

Watson has received awards for mentoring minorities and women from the President of the United States (1997) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999). In 1996 she received the Harriett B. Rigas Award, given by Hewlett Packard and IEEE. She has won numerous teaching awards at the university, college, and department levels at Texas A&M  since she joined the faculty in 1983.

She joined the university as a member of the electrical engineering faculty and has subsequently held  increasingly responsible academic and administrative positions, including that of associate dean of engineering and dean of faculties. She was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in March after having served in that capacity on an interim basis. She also holds the rank of Regents Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., all in electrical engineering, from Texas Tech University.