Lemuel W. Watson is Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs and Senior Scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. His immediate past position was Dean of the School of Education and Provost Professor at Indiana University Bloomington. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina where he was also Founding Executive Director for the Center of Innovation in Higher Education. 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.
Throughout his career, Professor Watson has emphasized the need to value diversity as a means of understanding our world and for enhancing 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.
As Associate Vice President in OVPDEMA, Watson coordinates, manages, and supports efforts related to the office’s anti-racist agenda for all IU campuses. He also assists with and provides strategic direction for supporting a university culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion; supports IU leadership in developing a framework for transformative actions that help eliminate inequalities across the university; and helps coordinate assessment, program reviews, research and audits related to OVPDEMA initiatives across IU’s campuses.
As Senior Scientist at the Kinsey Institute, he helps oversee Kinsey’s efforts to generate collaborative education, research, and fundraising related to LGBTQ+ lives and topics. This includes research on LGBTQ+ youth mental health as part of the partnership between Kinsey and the Trevor Project, the world's most significant suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.
Watson is also a faculty affiliate in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has authored or co-authored seven books and monographs and many articles and has been granted $13 million in research funding by an array of organizations. He has been asked to share his expertise on systemic educational policy, talent management, and leadership issues both domestically and in countries all over the world. He has been deeply engaged with the community as a personal and professional advocate through membership on numerous arts, community, educational, and professional boards.