TALLAHASSEE – Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., has announced Allyson L. Watson, Ph.D., as provost/vice president for Academic Affairs. Watson, who came to FAMU in 2019 as dean of the College of Education, has served as interim provost/vice president for Academic Affairs since December 2022.
She succeeds Maurice Edington, Ph.D., who was promoted to executive vice president/chief operating officer (COO) in December as part of an administrative reshuffling. Earlier this week, Edington was named the next president of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).
“I am pleased to announce Allyson Watson, Ph.D., as the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Florida A&M University. Dr. Watson has had an outstanding career as an academic administrator prior to joining FAMU and continued to demonstrate leadership and vision as dean of our College of Education. I have been extremely impressed with her performance over the past several months as the interim provost,” said Robinson. “She has demonstrated a commitment to student success, shared governance, and support of faculty and staff. She continues to lead important funded research initiatives and community service activities that support our mission. I look forward to future successes from an individual who already has proven to be a stellar hire for FAMU.”
Before she arrived at FAMU, Watson served as the interim chief academic officer and dean at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and at Northeastern State University as assistant dean and the first-named endowed chair.
Her educational background includes a master’s in education and a doctoral degree in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. Her bachelor’s is from Bethune-Cookman University in elementary education. Watson has served as assistant director at the University of Oklahoma-Center for Educational & Community Renewal (now K-20 Center). Her educational career and experience include teaching 1st-8th grade in urban areas.
Watson thanked President Robinson, COO Edington, the administration, faculty, students, staff, and key stakeholders for entrusting her with this critical leadership role.
“Florida A&M University is an institution of academic excellence. I am honored to represent the significance of our history and the academic contributions we have accomplished and be at the helm of such an important time for our future,” Watson said. “Our future is bright, and I look forward to leading with vision, tenacity, and innovation.”
As a scholar, Watson has focused her research on innovation in education, STEM in urban education, women, and faculty of color in higher education, and urban school and university partnerships. She is a full professor and tenured graduate faculty with substantial teaching and research experience in educational research, advanced educational measurements and statistics, public school relations, and instructional strategies.
Provost Watson spent more than 20 years teaching and leading in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work in north Tulsa shaped her passion for encouraging teachers to include accurate history within culturally responsive pedagogy.