About Lemuel

Lemuel W. Watson is a seasoned executive and his career spans across various industries, which include educational, non-profit organizations, private, and entrepreneurship/small businesses. His expertise is in Talent Management, Systems Design, Diversity, Policy Analysis, research design, and Leadership. Dr. Watson beings a wealth of leadership experiences in working with and leading non-profit organizations through his board commitments.

Currently, Lemuel W. Watson is Executive Director for the Center for Innovation in Higher Education and the former Dean of the College of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies. Dr. Watson was also the former Executive Director of the Center for P–20 Engagement and Dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Watson is also the CEO of Watson Consulting Services, which provides workshops and professional development opportunities to individuals, small groups, and organizations in the United States as well as abroad.  At Watson Consulting Services, www.lemuelwatson.com, we focus on working with teams and individuals on designing a work place that is respectful of differences across race, gender, sexual orientation, generations, ethnicities, etc., to enhance efficiency, satisfaction, and success.

He bring more than 25 years experience at various public land-grant and research institutions that prepared him to deal with all areas of operations: from business and finance (budgeting) to assessment and accreditation; from admissions and orientation for students to orientation and professional development for faculty and staff; from the tenure, review, promotion, and evaluation process to  understanding and negotiating with unions; from curriculum development and review to field and internship/co-op engagement; from working with boards of trustees to external boards; from engaging external constituencies to motivating internal groups; from partnerships to alumni and donor relations; from public relations to governmental relationships; from strategic planning to project management and from traditional delivery methods to distance/online education.

You will find that he is a leader who has strong managerial and administrative skills, and a comprehensive understanding of the complex set of variables that drive budgets. He understands that there are always competing demands on the budget and that it must be balanced through sound data analysis and humane decision-making. The financial health of an organization requires in-depth knowledge of the priorities, programs, and facilities; sound judgment to reach a suitable balance among competing objectives; the restraint to live within the budget; and the courage to be transparent and to seek creative ways to expand those means. Given the number of diverse constituents that an institution has to serve, setting priorities becomes an essential part of a sustainable business plan. Therefore, leading and facilitating strategic planning initiatives are skills that he has developed and have used to lead departments, units, colleges, non-profit organizations, community boards, and interdisciplinary centers.

As a fundraiser, he has been instrumental in the development of naming opportunities for clinics, lecture series, faculty grants, and scholarships for students. He has experiences in leading fund raising efforts with both non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education.  Fund and friend raising are necessary responsibilities in the lives of most leaders, and he enjoys and takes these duties very seriously. His skills at funding raising is evident by his college’s goals for the institutional campaign of one billion dollars that was exceeded at 121.7 percent. Dr. Watson considers development work as an opportunity to tell the stories; stories that include the success of our communities, personnel, our programs, and our clients. He has been very successful in creating the kind of opportunities to allow alumni, donors, and sponsors to be engaged through the excitement of sharing our collective stories. In addition to raising funds from private citizens, he has been relatively successful as an academic leader in obtaining grants and has secured funding as a lead investigator or co-investigator in the amount of over 10 million dollars from multiple funding sources. He has provided mentoring and training to help individuals and organizations obtain their own grants as well. I believe it is necessary to be engaged in writing grant proposals for both large and small initiatives and prefer to work in an interdisciplinary team environment to obtain grants in the current economic climate.

Throughout his career, he has emphasized the need to value diversity as a means to understanding our world and to enhance our understanding of ourselves. Attracting and retaining personnel and a leadership team that represents our diversity as a nation takes commitment from the top leadership to lead and hold others accountable. Lemuel W. Watson has also been recognized as a scholar and researcher on issues of underrepresented groups through speaking invitations and through publications over the last three decades. He has worked as a consultant on public policy and talent management issues around the world in such countries as Aruba, China, Korea, Belarus, Poland, Kenya, Ukraine, Georgia, Malawi, and the Philippines.

Watson completed his undergraduate degree in business from the University of South Carolina, a masters degree from Ball State University, and his doctorate from Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a Certified Master Coach by the Behavioral Coaching Institute of Sydney, Australia and a Certified Trainer through the Center for Entrepreneurial Resources at Ball State University at Muncie, Indiana. In addition, he is a Certified Systems Engineer by Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) of Plano, Texas. He was awarded the U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist (EPS) Fellowship by the International Research and Exchanges Board to conduct research on the impact of the Georgia Institute of Public Affairs. Dr. Watson was a Senior Research Fellow at the C. Houston Center at Clemson University and Research Fellow at the Institute for Southern Studies at University of South Carolina. He is a Fulbright Scholar to Belarus and has written articles, books, and served as editor for several volumes related to organizational behavior, educational leadership and administration, human development, public policy, K-12 issues, and higher education.

Dr. Watson is engaged in the greater community as a personal and professional advocate through membership on several arts, community, and professional boards. In fact, he bring over 25 years of proven leadership experiences and achievements and a strong national reputation in collaborative partnership work and issues of social justices that will greatly benefit an organization. He has served either as a leader or engaged member of the following boards: Chair of Consortium of Universities and Research Institutions of the American Educational Research Association; Board of Visitors for the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.; South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council; Chair for the South Carolina Communities in Schools board; as Executive Board of National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER); the Executive Committee of the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI) of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities; South Carolina Future Minds, Executive Board of The Council for Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI); Executive Board of South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA); Executive Board of founding member of South Carolina Science Academy; National Resource Center for The First Year Experience and Students in Transition; The Penn Center Advisory; Executive Board of the Nickelodeon Theater; Trustus Theatre; Executive Board and Vice Chair of South Carolina Arts Alliance; Executive Board of TransformSC;  Executive Board of Unity of Columbia; and Executive Board of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).