Lemuel Watson

Provost Professor Emeritus; Dean Emeritus

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Academic Programs:
Higher Education and Student Affairs; History, Philosophy, and Policy in Education
Research Areas:
Indigenous Leadership, Underrepresented Populations, LGBTQ+ Systemic Issue, Social Justice and Public Policy, and Talent Management

About Me

Lemuel W. Watson is Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Provost Professor of School of Education and African American and African Diaspora Studies, Co-Director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, and Senior Scientist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. He is also a Senior Scholar Fellow at the Antioch Graduate School of Leadership and Change.

He helps oversee Kinsey’s efforts to generate collaborative education, research, and fundraising related to LGBTQ+ lives and topics. This appointment 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.

A seasoned leader whose career spans across various industries, which include educational, non-profit organizations, private, and entrepreneurship/small businesses. Lemuel W. Watson has also been recognized as a scholar and researcher on underrepresented populations. He has worked as a consultant on public policy and talent management issues around the world. He has written books, monographs, and articles related to research on leadership, underrepresented populations, LGBTQ+, public policy, and human development. He is also Series Editor for Contemporary Perspectives on LGBTQ Advocacy in Societies with IAP. His latest scholarship can be found in Unheard Voice: A Collection of Narratives by Black, Gay & Bisexual Men (2021), Queer and Trans Advocacy in Community College (2021), Authentic Leadership: An Engaged Discussion of LGBTQ Work as Culturally Relevant, Special Issue of Leadership Journal on Race and Leadership. Watson also has secured grants totaling more than $13.5 million in research funding by an array of organizations. He has been deeply engaged with the community as a personal and professional advocate through numerous arts, community, educational, and professional boards.

Watson has a wealth of experience in working with non-profit organizations through his international and local board commitments. He currently focuses on mindful leadership and talent management to enhance work and learning environments. Watson is also Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus and Founding Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Higher Education at the University of South Carolina and the former founding Executive Director of the Center for P-20 Engagement and Dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. He is past host of the South Carolina Educational Television series, Carolina Classrooms, and Fulbright Scholar to Belarus.

Back to top