Robert E. Waters, PhD

Robert E. Waters, PhD serves as dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Excelsior College. In this role, he is the chief academic and administrative officer for the school, representing it college-wide and to external constituents. He is also responsible for the recruitment and retention of a qualified and diverse faculty, as well as, student advisement and activities that support student satisfaction, and success.

He most recently served as dean of Excelsior College’s School of Public Service. From 2012 to 2013, he served as vice president for Academic Affairs and chief academic officer at the Institute for Shipboard Education (Semester at Sea) where he recruited faculty members, managed core curriculum, and assisted in the development of new programs. From 2001-2012, he served as associate vice president for academic affairs and special assistant to the president at the University of Maryland, College Park. Waters was also an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Leadership, Higher Education and International Education in the College of Education and a member of the graduate faculty. Dr. Waters has also held administrative and teaching positions at the University of San Francisco and Spelman College, and has served as assistant to the mayor of Philadelphia, Pa.


  • Higher Education Administration and Governance
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education
  • Education Policy
  • International Education


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Administration and Policy Analysis, Stanford University
  • Master in Public Policy, Harvard University.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Economics and American Studies, Eckerd College

Awards and Recognitions

  • Fulbright Scholar, Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 2010-2011

Selected Presentations

  • “Minding the Store: An Examination of Trustee Decision-Making,” presenter, Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, San Antonio, Texas, November 1999

Selected Publications

  • “Transforming Maryland: Expectations for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion,” author, The Strategic Plan for Diversity at the University of Maryland, April 2010
  • “Transforming Maryland: Expectations for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion,” keynote speaker and strategy session presenter, ECHO (Center for Diversity Policy) National Conference, The Hague, Netherlands, November 2011
  • “Strengthening Educational Exchanges between Japan and the United State,” keynote speaker, U.S. Embassy Symposium Series, Tokyo, Japan, March 2011
  • “Education Cooperation: Setting Strategies with Partners,” panel presenter, CaringLeaders Across Cultures Seminar to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Thailand, Washington, D.C., February 2010
  • “Cross Cultural Issues: American Perspective,” keynote presenter, Global Business and Education Symposium, Chulalongkorn University Business School, Bangkok, Thailand, January 2010