Georgia Perimeter College names interim president

ATLANTA -- Rob Watts has been named interim president of Georgia Perimeter College by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby.

"Rob is one of the University System's most experienced leaders, given his responsibilities at the system office as well as leadership roles at three other institutions," said Huckaby in a news release Wednesday. "We are extremely fortunate to be able to call upon his skills in this important assignment at Georgia Perimeter."

Watts previously served as interim president of Georgia Perimeter College in Decatur from 2005-2006 and will begin his second stint as interim president on Monday.

The announcement comes just two days after the most recent GPC President Anthony Tricoli stepped down after financial problems led to a $16 million budget shortfall at the two-year institution. On Monday, Huckaby had named Dr. Alan Jackson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GPC, as acting president.

Tricoli is taking a position in the University System's Academic Affairs Office to help with distance education, adult degree completion and learning support programs, Huckaby previously announced.

Since Jan. 1, Watts worked as interim president of Georgia Highlands College in Rome, following the retirement of President Randy Pierce. Watts previously was interim president at Georgia Highlands, which was then named Floyd College, from 2000 until the appointment of Pierce in 2001.

Watts has an extensive career in the University System. He was chief operating officer for the USG until earlier this year, a position he held since 2006.

From 2002 to 2005, Watts worked as a senior policy advisor to the chancellor, as well as the interim director of the Gwinnett University Center in Lawrenceville. From 2001 to 2002, Watts was the interim president at Middle Georgia College in Cochran.

He first joined Georgia Perimeter, then known as DeKalb College, in 1986, and worked five years as director of Institutional Research and Planning. In 1991, he assumed the position of executive vice president for Fiscal Affairs, which he held until being named interim president at Floyd College.

Prior to joining Georgia Perimeter, from 1982 to 1986 Watts was a budget analyst for the Legislative Budget Office of the Georgia General Assembly. Previously, he had worked as a Humanities Scholar in Residence for the General Assembly from 1979 to 1981.

Watts earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He also holds a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University's Bologna Center in Bologna, Italy.

Tricoli became president of GPC in 2007; he was the sixth president of GPC.

The college is the third largest institution of the USG and is approved by the Board of Regents to offer limited baccalaureate degrees with the largest associate degree-granting institution in the USG. It serves approximately 27,000 students through four campuses in Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton, as well as several sites in metro Atlanta, including an Alpharetta center and partnerships at the Rockdale Career Academy in Conyers and the Newton College & Career Academy in Covington.