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UT Arlington names University of Hawai‘i System executive Vice President for University Communications

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

News Topics: staff

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The University of Texas at Arlington has appointed Lynne T. Waters, associate vice president for external affairs and university relations for the University of Hawai’i System, as vice president for University Communications.

Lynne T. Waters

Lynne T. Waters

Waters, a native Texan, is a former television news anchor and reporter who owned a comprehensive communications consulting firm before joining the University of Hawai‘i System in 2011. During her tenure in higher education, Waters has directed strategic communications planning, community relations, creative services and marketing and brand management for the UH System, including its 10 campuses and some 59,000 students.

She is a member of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities Council on Strategic Communications and serves on the Hawaii Judicial Conduct Commission and on the Board of Directors of the Honolulu Police Community Foundation. She has won numerous awards throughout her career, including a Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, Excellence in Journalism Award from the Hawaii Medical Association and a prestigious screening of her PBS documentary series “Year of the Hawaiian” at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival.

At UT Arlington, Waters will work closely with President Vistasp M. Karbhari and the senior leadership team to direct the University’s global marketing and communications efforts, institutional marketing and brand positioning, internal communications, media relations and community relations initiatives.

“UT Arlington is positioned to become an even greater catalyst for positive economic change and a hub for intellectual pursuits as the Dallas-Fort Worth region continues its trajectory toward becoming one of our nation’s great megacities,” President Karbhari said. “Lynne Waters shares that vision and brings tremendous depth of experience in strategic communications, community engagement and brand management. This experience and her insight into media will help us better articulate UT Arlington’s mission and growing excellence globally as we define what it truly means to be the model 21st century urban research university.”

Waters was recruited through a highly competitive, national search. Her first day will be Feb. 27.

Waters said she was attracted by President Karbhari’s vision to firmly establish UT Arlington as the urban flagship of the University of Texas System and his determination to lead the University to international prominence in research and academics.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be joining the UT Arlington team at a time when President Karbhari has set forth such ambitious goals,” Waters said. “UT Arlington is clearly poised to be recognized as a top tier, American public research university, and it will be exhilarating to contribute to the journey by sharing its stories of accomplishment by students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters with the world.”

David Lassner, president of the University of Hawai`i System, expressed appreciation for Waters’ “dedication and service to the highest standards of professionalism.”

“Her dynamic approach to communications at the University has resulted in advancements on many fronts, especially video and social media,” President Lassner said. “Lynne will be greatly missed by the University of Hawai`i.  We know she will do well in her new role, and we wish her the best."

Waters grew up in Tyler and earned her undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from Baylor University. She is a graduate of the Pacific Century Fellows program, a civic leadership development program based in Hawaii, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education “Crisis Leadership in Higher Education” seminar.

Waters worked as a weekend weather anchor at KCEN-TV in Waco during her senior year in college, then as a weekend anchor and reporter at KLTV in Tyler before joining KITV in Honolulu, Hawaii, as nightly news anchor from 1981 to 1985. She moderated the long-running live PBS Hawai‘i public affairs program Dialog and covered the Hawai‘i State Legislature for both stations.

Following her news career, she formed Lynne Waters Communications, a full-service media and public relations consulting firm with experience in political campaign communications management.

Among her accomplishments with the University of Hawai‘i System, Waters has directed the branding and launching of the Hawaii Innovation Initiative to grow the University of Hawaii’s $450 million research portfolio into a $1 billion economic sector of the state’s economy. She also played a critical role in branding and marketing that contributed to the university’s highest enrollment ever in 2011 and a record number of graduates at the flagship campus in 2014.

M.R.C. Greenwood, president emerita of the University of Hawai`i, said Waters is “an accomplished communications professional who can work extremely well with diverse constituents.”

“I am confident that she will do exciting things for UT Arlington,” Greenwood said.

Former Hawaii Gov. Benjamin J. Cayetano, the nation’s first governor of Filipino ancestry, said that Waters would be deeply missed in the Aloha State.

“The University of Texas at Arlington is getting a highly competent and respected professional as well as a very caring and ethical person,” Cayetano said. “Texas's gain is Hawaii's loss.”

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 47,000 students around the world and is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.