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Dr. Carolyn Watters

Provost & vice-president, academic


Dr. Carolyn Watters brings experience and vision to the role of provost and vice-president, academic at Dalhousie. Since becoming a member of the university's senior leadership team in 2011, Dr. Watters has focused on meeting the needs of faculty and students while growing Dalhousie's academic reputation internationally.

A Computer Science professor who previously served as dean of graduate studies, Dr. Watters draws on academic experience, institutional knowledge and a spirit of creativity as Dalhousie's senior academic leader.

Read Dr. Watters' full profile

Academic excellence

Dr. Carolyn Watters has served as provost and vice-president, academic at Dalhousie since February of 2011. However, Dr. Watters was one of Dalhousie’s most vital and visionary academic leaders long before her appointment to her current role.

Previously Dalhousie’s dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and an ongoing member of the Faculty of Computer Science, Dr. Watters has helped to steer Dalhousie’s evolution in the past 15 years.

“I think Dalhousie has kind of grown up,” says Dr. Watters of Dalhousie’s increasing national profile in academics and research.

Dr. Watters continues to grow Dalhousie’s academic reputation across Canada and abroad.

“Essentially, a university’s success is measured in academics. So we have to make sure the academic climate and the resources we have are used to further that academic mission.

“It’s in the programs, how faculty members deal with students and making sure faculty members are supported in research.“

Dr. Watters is leading an Academic Innovation initiative that aims to ensure Dalhousie’s academic programs and teaching methods are as relevant and effective as possible. Dr. Watters believes this kind of self-examination is critical to Dalhousie’s continued growth in academics.

“We have to make sure we all keep our eye on academic excellence.”

Dr. Watters has also kept her eye on serving Dalhousie's increasingly international student body, making the university more attractive to bright minds from beyond Canada’s borders.

One of the ways Dr. Watters has increased Dalhousie’s international appeal is by re-imagining the role of the university’s Continuing Education College. With Dr. Watters’ guidance, the College of Continuing Education has developed a pre-first-year Pathways program for students who want to come to Dalhousie but need to upgrade skills in English, math or other areas of study.

“One of the things I wanted to do was take Continuing Ed and transition it into something that would really be a powerhouse for bringing people in and increasing student success.”

Dr. Watters’ experience in various roles at Dalhousie informs her approach as one of the university’s senior leaders. From her time as dean of graduate studies, she brings connections with stakeholders from a variety of departments across campus. From her own experience as a professor and researcher, she has a keen appreciation for the needs of faculty.

“I understand what it’s like to be a faculty member. I’ve met with a lot of people here and I hope they have a sense that they can talk to me and I’ll listen.”

Quick facts about Dr. Watters

  • First came to Dalhousie in 1998
  • Past leader of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies
  • Continues to mentor PhD students