About our Dean

Get to know our Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH), Dr. Aramis Watson.

Dr. Aramis Watson joins SMU in July of 2022 after a national search. 

Dr. Watson is a thoughtful leader with a demonstrated track-record of creating vibrant residential communities that promote academic engagement and student development. Her innovative vision for SMU’s Residential Commons, her student-centered approach and her commitment to fostering inclusive communities made her the clear choice for this position.

Dr. Watson brings extensive higher education experience and a deep commitment to student learning and success. She has served since 2016 as the associate director of residence life at Kansas University, providing strategic vision and oversight for a residential program serving approximately 4,500 students. She previously served as assistant director of residence life at The Ohio State University and as the assistant director for housing and residential education at the University of Utah.

“I am honored to continue my professional journey at SMU—the strong sense of community and fellowship among students, faculty and staff drew me to the Hilltop” Watson said. “I am excited to join a residence life and student housing program that has already established itself as a leader and standout among housing programs across the county.”

Dr. Watson is a Kansas native from Wichita. She earned a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Kansas, holds a masters degree in Higher Education from Arizona State University and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas. She is an active member of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I). She enjoys teaching on the topic of social justice and is passionate about advocating for students in her role as a higher education administrator.