Dr. Renva Harmon Watterson has been named as the interim president of Georgia Highlands College, effective May 14, 2012, by University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby. Watterson assumes the post from Rob Watts, who was named today by Huckaby to become interim president of Georgia Perimeter College in metro Atlanta.
Watterson is currently vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Georgia Highlands, a post she has held since 2006. Prior to her current position at GHC, Watterson was chair of the humanities division of the College.
“It is with great appreciation for her abilities that I make this appointment,” said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “Dr. Watterson has a wealth of experience and a very high degree of familiarity with Georgia Highlands and the communities it serves, which should prove invaluable to both her and the College in the months ahead.”
During her tenure at GHC, she has led the effort to achieve state-college status for the institution and has overseen the development of new instructional sites in Paulding and Douglas Counties.
Watterson also has helped attain National Science Foundation grants, Math Science Partnership grants and funding for STEM initiatives. She was instrumental in guiding the decentralization process among GHC’s five campuses throughout Northwest Georgia. One of the important collaborations she has spearheaded is with the Floyd County Schools’ College and Career Academy to design teacher education pathways through a Race to the Top grant to create a teacher cadet program for high-school students. The program will expedite their college training, putting teachers in the classroom sooner and easing the teacher shortage.
Prior to coming to GHC, Watterson was dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Shorter College in Rome (1999-2006) and from 1988-1999 held a number of administrative, department and faculty positions at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. She also taught speech communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1988 and 1989.
Watterson began her educational career in Rome in the 1970’s, teaching English, speech and journalism in the Rome City schools, before moving to North Little Rock, Ark. to teach speech and debate in the public school system.
Her communications background has resulted in her publication in a wide range of scholarly journals and she is a frequent presenter on writing, speech and communications. She has maintained a high level of involvement in a number of state and national organizations focused on communications and women in communications.
She holds a Doctor of Education in higher education and communication studies as well as a Master of Arts in interpersonal and organizational communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech education and theater from Shorter College.
Georgia Highlands serves 5,500 students in Northwest Georgia, at the founding campus in Floyd County; at Heritage Hall in downtown Rome; the Cartersville campus; a site in Marietta on the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University; a site in Paulding County, on the square in Dallas; and an instructional site in Douglas County on Stewart Parkway in Douglasville.