President’s Bio

Ruth V. Watkins

President, University of Utah

Dr. Ruth V. Watkins began serving as the 16th president of the University of Utah on April 2, 2018. She previously served as the U’s senior vice president for academic affairs. In that role, she provided leadership for the university’s academic mission, guiding the campus on matters related to faculty, staff and students. She also helped set the U’s strategic direction and align its resources with academic priorities. Watkins is an advocate for advancing the success and impact of the U as a top-tier research university, including enhancing student success through degree completion and expanding research and creative activity. Dr. Watkins came to Utah in 2013 from the University of Illinois, where she spent 20 years in leadership and faculty roles. She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in child language at the University of Kansas; her scholarship focuses on communication development and disabilities in young children. Dr. Watkins’ research and training endeavors have earned external funding and she has been recognized for excellence in teaching.

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